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Sydney back in business as lockout laws repealed

City-wide events such as Vivid will now be free of late-night trading restrictions for patrons.

The NSW government has vowed to keep community safety in firm focus as restrictions on business trading in the city’s night-time economy were would back and lifted this week.

Now in effect everywhere except Kings Cross, which sees restrictions unchanged for now, businesses such as entertainment venues, bottle shops and bars have had rules relaxed on after-midnight drink service and extended trading hours.

The new arrangements see the former 1:30am last entry removed for all venues outside the Kings Cross precinct; restrictions removed on serving alcoholic beverages including shots in glasses after midnight; extensions to bottle shop opening hours and capacity increases at venues classified as ‘small bars’. In addition, a register detailing venues maintaining compliance and good behaviour will be developed, granting venues on this list an extra 30 minutes drink service.

Sydney will focus on developing late transport options to keep people safe at night.

The move has been well-received by the hospitality industry, with Tourism Accommodation Australia National and NSW CEO, Michael Johnson, saying the most important thing now was for Sydney to work together to reinvigorate the city’s after-dark scene.

“This is an exciting time for Sydney and its tourism accommodation providers.

“Re-opening Sydney for business after dark will certainly bolster the night-time economy.

“Once people realise Sydney can once again offer a vibrant, diverse and thriving night-life I expect tourism to increase exponentially,” Johnson added.

Accommodation Association of Australia CEO, Dean Long, said the repealing of the lockout laws was just one step in reinvigorating the city, but that all measures identified by the Joint Select Committee needed to be enacted.

“Measures such as the removal of red tape, improvements in transport and the creation of an exciting and diverse range of arts, cultural, sporting and music events are essential in increasing international and domestic visitation to Sydney and promoting innovation.

“Now is the time for all stakeholders to work together to create a vibrant, safe and diverse 24-hour economy. Importantly, we need to develop a vision that mobilises and attracts these events and sustains a range of food and beverage and retail offerings, without compromising safety,” Long said.

“There’s been a cultural shift in the city’s nightlife since 2014, and it’s time to look towards a bright, safe, diverse Sydney after dark, by improving liquor laws and enhancing access to arts, entertainment, shopping and sporting activities that are inclusive and family-friendly,” added NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres.

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