AHA: We need to work together to revive Sydney

15 January, 2020 by Andy Young

The Australian Hotels Association NSW (AHA NSW) campaigned vigorously for the removal of the lockout laws in Sydney; now that has happened the association is calling on all stakeholders to work together to revive Sydney’s night-life safely.

The lockout laws in the Sydney CBD officially ended yesterday and the AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green, told TheShout that the focus for all people involved in the night-time economy has to be working together.

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“Removing the lockout laws, is probably the easy course of action,” Green said. “Repairing Sydney’s night-time reputation and working together with stakeholders is what we all need to focus on now.

“In relation to the CBD and particularly Kings Cross, we are working closely with all stakeholders, which includes police, council and other industry associations just to make sure that Sydney’s night-life is revitalised without incident.

“This has been a team effort, working with other industry associations, but also with Government just to make sure that when this occurred, it was the right time, and I do think that is where we are now.”

He added: “This is an exciting time for Sydney. Even though the lockout has ended, I would like to remind all venue operators to continue to be vigilant at all times to properly assess people for signs of intoxication before allowing entry to licensed premises.”

NSW Independent Bars Association President Karl Schlothauer, agreed that while removing the lockouts is a positive step, no-one should be taking this for granted.

“This isn’t a done deal. The repeal of the lockouts and drink-based restrictions in Sydney’s CBD will be reviewed in 12 months so we need all licensed venues operating in the CBD to honour the commitments made during the parliamentary inquiry to ensure community safety.

“Patrons also have a role to play. We need mates to look out for each other and to know when to call it a night. We don’t want to see a return of heavy-handed regulations to the CBD, so we all need to do our bit to create a safe and vibrant nightlife.”

Green also said that the AHA NSW welcomed the removal of several other measures in the CBD including the ban on single nips and cocktails after midnight and returning the state’s bottle shops to midnight closing (11.00pm Sundays).