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New late-night trading law to boost Sydney nightlife

Sydney council ushers in 24-hour trading for city centre businesses and extends opening hours for venues but fails to override the state government’s lockout laws

By Anna Grace on 14 May 2019

Sydney: new late-night trading laws

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore


image © Kate Ausburn

Sydney City Council has endorsed changes to planning controls for late-night trading, extending opening hours for live music venues and allowing 24-hour trading in the city’s busiest districts.

The updated Draft Sydney Development Control Plan – Late Night Trading 2018 (Draft DCP) has been informed by a resident and business survey, in which over 10,000 people called for increased trading hours and more late-night activity.

The changes include an increase in opening hours until 2 a.m. for “low impact venues” in local centres and the introduction of an incentive system for venues to host live performances, awarding a bonus hour of trading to a venue for every night of live performance it programs.

Venues will need to apply for extra trading hours through a development application process and will be subject to trial periods to ensure they are well-managed and work in conjunction with the local community.

The council also plans to turn part of Sydney’s Alexandria industrial estate into an arts, entertainment and cultural hub.

“I hope these changes encourage the NSW Government to reconsider the lockout laws and help Sydney regain its status as one of the world’s premier late night destinations”

However, the changes will not override the controversial lockout laws imposed by the New South Wales government on many live music venues. The laws require venues, bars and nightclubs in Sydney’s central business district and Kings Cross area to lock their doors at 2 a.m. and stop serving drinks at 3.30 a.m.

“It’s time for Sydney to become a 24-hour city and we’ve now given businesses the opportunity to open around the clock,” says mayor Clover Moore.

“The City of Sydney is doing its part,” adds Moore. “I hope these changes encourage the NSW Government to reconsider the lockout laws and help Sydney regain its status as one of the world’s premier late night destinations.”

The new late-night development control plan is the result of work by mayor Moore, councillors Jess Miller and Jess Scully and the Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel.

 


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