Four more venues win lockout law flexibility in Sydney CBD

26 October, 2018 by Craig Hawtin-Butcher

Image: 3 Wise Monkeys on George St, Sydney. (c) Google 2018

A bill to repeal Sydney’s lockout laws was presented to NSW state parliament earlier this week by MP Robert Borsak of the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party, as previously reported by TheShout.

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Speaking on the day the bill was presented, Borsak said:

“Today I introduced my bill to scrap Sydney’s 1:30am lock-out laws into the Legislative Council. This bill is the last opportunity for the Government to unwind the lock-outs that are killing Sydney. Since the restrictions were brought-in, foot traffic fell by 84% in Kings Cross and 176 licensed premises closed. My bill will come up for debate on November 15, so we have several weeks to pressure the Government to back it.”

Expectations have been raised that the general weakening of the legislation over recent years will result in concrete licensing changes in the months to come. This follows from Australian Hotelier previously reporting the lockout laws may be lifted entirely by the end of the year.

In renewed signs, four more live entertainment venues in the CBD precinct have been granted extended trading, bringing to 34 the number of venues within the CBD that can admit patrons until 2am and serve drinks until 3.30am.

“The extended trading for venues offering live entertainment is a key part of the NSW Government’s renewed focus on providing diverse night-time entertainment options while balancing the need for community safety,” said a spokesperson for Liquor, Gaming & Racing NSW.

The four latest venues to gain extended trading are: Three Wise Monkeys on George Street, Slide Lounge, Oxford Hotel and Palms on Oxford on Oxford Street.

Both Slide Lounge and Palms on Oxford received moderate extensions, allowing patrons to enter until 2am and purchase alcohol until 3am.

“The extended trading times are helping to boost Sydney’s nightlife and give musicians and other entertainers more opportunities to perform,” said a spokesperson for Liquor, Gaming & Racing NSW.

“The later trading for the venues in the CBD precinct means there are now more options for live entertainment and cultural events,” they continued.

The announcement comes as Sydney’s small bars continue to benefit from licensing changes following changes to licence conditions approved by the NSW Government in 2016.

These changes allowed small bars to serve more patrons, open later and have more flexibility around what they can serve after midnight.

There are nearly 60 small bars in the Sydney local government area and that number continues to grow. These venues offer a quieter and more intimate setting for patrons.

The NSW Government is also trialling a new liquor licence where craft breweries in Sydney’s inner west can serve patrons on premises.