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Image for The NSW Government Has Finally Invited Anti-Lockout Activists To The Discussion RoundtableKeep Sydney Open Protest, February 2016 / Photo: Ashley Mar

The NSW Government Has Finally Invited Anti-Lockout Activists To The Discussion Roundtable

Written by Sam Murphy on March 10, 2016

The NSW Government has spent most of the last year playing deaf to the strong opposition to the lockout laws but they have finally agreed to listen and discuss issues with the activists behind Keep Sydney Open.

Keep Sydney Open have been one of the key forces debating the lockout laws and last month they gathered together around 15,000 people to march through the streets of Sydney and protest the laws.

Now, they have been invited to a “night-time economy roundtable,” showing that maybe the government understand that a review usually includes discourse with both sides of the conversation.

“Everyone wants a safe and vibrant night-time Sydney economy,” the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police, Troy Grant said of the roundtable, as reported by Fairfax.

“This is an exciting chance to work together.”

It’s a very different tone to the one presented by Mike Baird on Facebook last month when he said, “it’s going to take a lot for me to change my mind”. It shows that the protests are working, a point that the Greens also agree with.

“Minister Grant seems to be singing a very different tune,” spokeswoman Jenny Leong said.

“[We] have said from the start that it’s essential that local communities are involved.”

There are a number of other groups that will also be involved in the roundtable including participants from Uber, the live music industry, the hotel lobby, medical professions and government agencies.

Discussions are due to begin on 31st March and will be held in three stages. The first will be a discussion of Sydney’s nightlife problems, while the next two will develop solutions and a list of actions to take. The last meeting will take place on 19th May.

The results of the consultation will then be presented by former High Court Justice Ian Callinan who is leading the independent review of the laws which enforce a 1.30am lockout and a 3am end of drinks service for venues in the lockout zone. Bar the casino.

The review is expected to be finalised in August.

Gallery: Keep Sydney Open Rally 2016 / Photos By Ashley Mar

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