Lockout laws committee confirmed

12 June, 2019 by Andy Young

The composition of the Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s night time economy has been confirmed, the full terms of reference for the inquiry have been established and the committee is now seeking submissions from interested and impacted parties.

The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is Tuesday, 2 July and submissions can be made by email, post or through the committee’s webpage. Public hearings will take place on 5 and 12 August and the committee has also confirmed that it is planning to visit affected areas.

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The committee members are:

  • Chair: Natalie Ward (LIB, LC Member)
  • Deputy Chair: Alex Greenwich (IND, LA Member)
  • Members: Kevin Conolly (LIB, LA Member)
  • Cate Faehrmann (GRNS, LC Member)
  • Ben Franklin (NAT, LC Member)
  • John Graham (ALP, LC Member)
  • Mark Latham (PHON, LC Member)
  • Geoff Provest (NAT, LA Member)
  • Felicity Wilson (LIB, LA Member)
  • Guy Zangari (ALP, LA Member)

Speaking about the committee, Chair Natalie Ward said: “The Committee has been set-up to look at issues affecting Sydney’s night-time economy. This includes community health and safety but also ways to ensure that Sydney remains an attractive place to visit with plenty of options for people to enjoy the city after-hours.

“We want people to enjoy a night out in Sydney’s entertainment districts without the fear or threat of violence. We also want to ensure that there are options available for those people who are able to enjoy Sydney’s nightlife responsibly. Sydney remains one of the world’s leading cities and we want to make sure that residents and visitors can enjoy all that Sydney has to offer.

“In recent years, the Government has introduced laws which have led to a reduction in non-domestic violent assaults in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross. However, people have also argued that this legislation has had an adverse effect on certain businesses and the availability of entertainment.

“We will be looking at the effect of the lockout laws on businesses in Sydney. We also want to hear people’s experiences, either visiting these places for entertainment or those on the front lines, dealing with health and safety problems.

“We know there are strong feelings on both sides of this debate, and we are hoping to hear from as many people and organisations as possible. We would welcome submissions from anyone with an interest in this issue and will be holding public hearings in August.”

The Terms of Reference for the committee are: “That the Committee inquire and report into Sydney’s night time economy, including any measures required to: (a) maintain and enhance community safety; (b) maintain and enhance individual and community health outcomes; (c) ensure existing regulatory arrangements in relation to individuals, businesses and other stakeholders, including Sydney’s lockout laws, remain appropriately balanced; (d) enhance Sydney’s night time economy; and any other directly relevant matters.”

The committee will report to Parliament by 30 September 2019 and those interested in making a submission to the inquiry can find out more information on the committee’s webpage.