Mike Baird Reportedly Set To Backflip On Sydney’s Lockout Laws

After overturning his ban on greyhound racing yesterday, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird is reportedly set to turn his attention to Sydney’s controversial lockout laws, with an overhaul of the restrictions to allow venues to stay open later and bottle shops to sell alcohol later into the night.

According to News Corp Australia, Mr Baird is set to recommend that cabinet adopts the changes recommended by High Court judge Ian Callinan in his independent review into the laws.

In Callinan’s review, which took over 1,800 submissions, he said, “I am concerned that live entertainment and those employed in it (including sound and light technicians etc) have lost opportunities of employment.”

Key changes would involve pushing the 1:30am lockout in Kings Cross and the CBD back to 2am for venues providing live music.

Deputy Premier and Justice Minister Troy Grant has reportedly worked on a submission which will also allow live music venues to remain open an extra half an hour, until 3:30am.

Mr Grant will also supposedly be recommending that takeaway liquor sales be allowed until midnight, instead of the current 10pm restriction, and his bottle shop plan could be decided upon by cabinet as soon as tomorrow.

Another expected change is set to include the legalisation of staff drinks on site past the end of last drinks, something which venues have been receiving strikes for recently. Live music and entertainment is also expected to be defined in the changes as including DJs, as well as bands.

In response to reports of Mr Baird’s alleged lockout laws backflip, Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh tells Music Feeds, “Pushing back the lockouts by half an hour will do little to help small businesses, the music scene or reinvigorate our dying inner-city precincts.

“Quite frankly, it’s an unacceptable result that shows how oblivious the Premier is to how cities and culture operate,” Mr Koh says.

“The night-time economy comprises more jobs and more revenue than greyhound racing, yet the concessions given there outweigh the ones given to lockouts. If the reports are true, then the Premier has just made his time in office much more difficult because our followers are growing and Keep Sydney Open isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

Music Feeds has contacted the Premier’s office for comment.

The reported backflip comes after Keep Sydney Open renewed their calls for the Premier to reverse his stance on the lockout laws yesterday, given his willingness to backflip on the greyhound racing ban.

A new report released by Keep Sydney Open last week found that, in opposition to the State Government’s previous conclusions, violence had been steadily decreasing well before the lockouts were implemented.

KSO held their latest anti-lockout rally at the weekend, which saw over 10,000 people take to the streets to oppose the continued lockout laws.

Gallery: The Funniest Sign From The Keep Sydney Open Rally (October 2016)

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