In the latest publicly-revealed submission to the review into Sydney’s lockout laws, hospitality behemoth Merivale has revealed that it hasn’t just been Sydneysiders who’ve been refused entry into the city’s clubs and pubs.
The hospitality chain’s four-page submission is the latest in a string of critical submissions towards the review, following the lead of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, businessman and entrepreneur Matt Barrie, and the Australian Hotels Association.
Merivale – which owns wide range of bars, clubs and hospitality establishments, including ivy, the Coogee Pavillion, Palmer & Co and Chinese Laundry – has raised some serious criticisms of the laws in its submission.
The submission rues the impact of the laws on Sydney’s reputation internationally. “Sydney’s reputation as an international dining and hospitality destination is being impacted by reports from tourists and celebrities of our ‘nanny state’ laws.” It goes on to reveal that Prince, Madonna, Drake, Marilyn Manson, Ed Sheeran and The Smashing Pumpkins are among a string of international artists who’ve been turned away from Merivale-owned venues after 1:30am.
Merivale also point out that hundreds of jobs have been lost, opportunities for live musicians are withering and surrounding small businesses that rely on “the visitor economy” are struggling, as a result of the 1:30am lockout. “The closure of a string of small bars, hotels and restaurants in the lock-out zone is emblematic of the pain being experienced across the hospitality sector and more broadly,” it says.
The 10pm take-away liquor restriction is one law that Merivale supports the retention of, suggesting that it will continue to help limit “pre-fuelling”, however the submission contends that retaining the 1:30am lockout is “palpably unfair and lacking in logic”.
To conclude, the submissions states that Merivale “fully support(s) sensible measures to reduce alcohol related violence, but we believe this can be achieved through alternative effective measures that don’t have such negative consequences for the hospitality industry and broader community.”
The review into Sydney’s lockouts is due to hand down its findings to the NSW government this August.