Sydney lockouts ditched for one night
Liquor & Gaming NSW has extended trading hours on New Year’s Eve, with hotels, clubs, bars and restaurants able to remain open until 2am on 1 January.
The regulator said that venues can trade until 2am for New Year’s Eve, despite earlier closing times that may normally apply under liquor licences and development consents or approvals. Venues already approved to trade beyond 2am can continue to do so as normal.
The regulator has also confirmed that the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross lockout restriction on patrons being admitted to venues after either 1.30am or 2am does not apply that night.
Last drinks laws will remain in place and normal trading conditions will remain in place for the other dates during the festive season.
Take-away liquor sales and home delivery times remain unchanged for New Year’s Eve and will continue to cease across NSW by 11pm.
AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green welcomed the move, telling TheShout: “The removal of the lockout on New Year’s Eve is a common-sense move that has been in place for a few years now.
“With the fireworks finishing at 12.30am and the large number of people in the city to enjoy them, many people just don’t have time to get into a venue before the lockout would kick in.
“Traditionally, police are generally pleased with crowd behaviour on New Year’s Eve, and with extra staff and security on venues expect that trend to continue this year.”
Liquor & Gaming NSW also said that its inspectors will have a strong presence in venues across the state over the festive season to ensure everyone can enjoy safer nights out.
Venue operators are reminded to be vigilant during busy periods such as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve for increased risks of selling alcohol to minors, intoxicated patrons and anti-social behaviour.
Liquor & Gaming NSW Deputy Secretary Paul Newson said inspectors will be monitoring hotels, bars, clubs, nightclubs, bottle shops and party boats.
Areas where inspectors will be active include Sydney’s CBD, eastern suburbs and northern beaches, Newtown and the inner west, Newcastle and the Central Coast.
Inspectors will also be attending music festivals to ensure compliance with event management plans, liquor laws and licence conditions to help reduce alcohol-related harm and other public safety risks.
“We want to ensure safe environments for people to celebrate over the festive season with the lowest possible risk of alcohol-related harm,” Newson said.
“The vast majority of our state’s licensed venues do the right thing and are committed to the responsible service of alcohol.
“The minority of venues that neglect their patrons’ safety and breach liquor laws can expect to face significant penalties.”