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Sydney Club Owner Justin Hemmes Wants A 4am Closing Time To Keep The City “Vibrant”

Just days after it was revealed that NSW Premier Mike Baird was looking to push the lockout laws in the state back by half an hour, club owner Justin Hemmes has suggested a 4am closing time for bars and clubs in the lockout zone.

Hemmes owns Sydney venues like Chinese Laundry, The Ivy and The Beresford, all of which have been affected by the lockout laws which stipulate a 1.30am lockout and 3am cease of service.

Speaking to Fairfax, he said that the half an hour change to the lockouts is “reasonable” but believes we’re going to have to change them even further to ensure a “vibrant city”.

“I think a 3 o’clock finish is not right,” he said.

“If you’re a shift worker, a hospitality worker, and you finish work, at 2am you want to go out and have a drink, you want to go and socialise with your friends. The city should still be vibrant at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning and in the venues – and that you feel when you go out of the venues you feel safe in the streets.”

His suggestion is to move cease of service to “at least 4 o’clock” ensuring that venues have adequate measures in place to keep intoxicated patrons out.

He further called the current laws, “detrimental to our city,” and said that Melbourne, this country’s nightlife capital is, “laughing at us, saying come to Melbourne.”

Earlier this week, following an anti-lockout rally which attracted thousands of people, Keep Sydney Open leader Tyson Koh said, “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.”

“Hardly a backflip, it’s a sidestep.”

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

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