When it was announced that the NSW Government would impose lockout laws across the state, anger and outrage was widespread. In Sydney, it sounded the end of the city’s famed nightlife and live music scene in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence. The statistics following the 2014 law is shaky at best, and while the residents and visitors of Sydney witnessed the closing of famed pubs, bars and clubs as a result, it appears that relief is on the way.
Back in September, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that she would be repealing Sydney’s controversial lockout laws following years of protests and rallies. For the creative community in particular, it was welcomed news.
“It’s time to enhance Sydney’s night-life… we need to step it up,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement to the AAP. “Sydney is Australia’s only global city and we need our night-life to reflect that.”
Announced today, it has been revealed that the strict lockout laws that were imposed will be lifted – however, only in the CBD and Oxford Street – as of January 14, the height of summer in the harbour-side city. For punters this means, removing 1:30am last entry for all licensed venues in the Sydney CBD, including Oxford Street, extending last drinks by 30 minutes at venues with “good records”, removing restrictions on serving cocktails, shots and drinks in glass after midnight, extending bottle shop opening hours across NSW until midnight from Monday to Saturday, with an 11pm closing time on Sunday and increasing small bar patron capacity from 100 to 120 across NSW.
Some organisations are not thrilled at the changes however.
Director of Emergency at St. Vincents Hospital in Darlinghurst, Paul Preisz said the hospital would be “keeping an eye on the impact of the changes and will keep the Government and public informed”. It was reported the hospital saved $500,000 in medical costs since the legislation was brought in five years ago.
Welcome back Sydney, we’ve missed you.