Sydney’s controversial lockout laws could reportedly be reversed or slightly relaxed by the end of 2018, in an effort to reinvigorate the Sydney’s dwindling nightlife.
According to 9News, New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has been backing a push within the state Liberal party for Sydney’s 1:30am lockouts to be scrapped in the CBD, but not Kings Cross.
“It’s going to be an absolute godsend for businesses, musicians, creatives and tourists and young people across the city,” Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh told News Corp Australia in response to Barilaro’s push.
“Unfortunately, some businesses didn’t make it and have been forced to close their doors. Several more are still doing it tough and barely hanging on.”
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has also been calling for relaxation of the laws for some time, and AHA’s Director of Policing John Green told 9News, “Venues that do nothing wrong should not be blanketed with draconian measures and it’s about time we looked at that.”
Police Association President Tony King disagreed, saying, “The laws work, any politician that changes these simple laws will have blood on their hands.”
Barilaro’s office has yet to comment.
Sydney’s lockout laws are some of the most intense in the country, with ‘lockout’ occurring at 1:30am and last drinks served by 3am. The law spans across Sydney’s CBD, Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.
The laws were brought in back in 2014, following two so-called ‘alcohol fuelled’ deaths in Kings Cross. Numerous venues have shut up shop since then, as more venture to venues outside of the city.
In March = this year Hoodoo Gurus, Urthboy and heap of other local musicians protested at NSW Parliament House in an effort to explain how debilitating the laws have been for Sydney’s music scene.