Sydney enjoys first lockout-free weekend
The process of rebuilding Sydney’s night-life has begun and as the city enjoyed its first weekend without lockouts for five years, NSW Police confirmed that no significant incidents were reported on Friday or Saturday night.
While it was an important weekend as Sydney looks to revitalise its night-time economy, it was not a significant one for NSW Police, with a spokesperson telling AAP “nothing out of the ordinary happened.”
What is clear though from the weekend is that removing the lockouts was not the immediate change that Sydney’s night-time is craving. As many industry experts have said, this is simply the first step in bringing a vibrant night-time economy to the city.
AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green, welcomed the weekend’s calm and said he hopes that time will see more and more people coming into the city at night and enjoying a safe night.
“It was a quiet weekend in the CBD which is normally the case for the period between New Year’s Eve and Australia Day – especially when wet,” Green said.
“Over a period of time we hope to see an increase in people going out to Sydney CBD rather than other areas.”
“We want to see them have a meal, see a show, come and experience what the Sydney CBD is like.”
“The lockout laws were actually a source of conflict and as a result, venues weren’t expecting an increase in patronage straight away.”
The lockout laws have been in place since 2014, but in November last year it was announced that the 1.30am last entry for venues in the Sydney CBD was being removed. Also removed were restrictions around the serving of spirits, cocktails and drinks in glasses after midnight, while bottle shops are now able to open until midnight.