You’ll be waking up on this lazy Sunday to a lot of news about the much-maligned Sydney lockout laws. That’s right night-life loving folk of the harbour city (and heck the rest of Australia, and the world), you can now live life till the latest hour your heart will desire. NSW Premier Gladys Bereijklian announced via a statement that Sydney needed to “enhance” it’s night-life to reflect the truly global status of the city.
As the day and week goes on, we’ll of course get more info about what this means. But for now, the lockouts will be removed from the entire CBD – but still apply across the now developer’s heaven that is Kings Cross.
And this is on the back of a parliamentary committee that was assigned to look into Sydney’s night-time economy (with that committee said to be reporting back with findings next week). Coincidental? Of course bloody not.
And yeah look friends, it’s a good step. A thriving Sydney is important for our little island home – both locally and internationally. Speak to any hash-carrying tourist from overseas, and they’ll tell you they find Sydney pretty boring at times.
So this decision sort of feels like it’s five years too late.
And if you believed the stats, sure there was less violence in Sydney’s CBD. But that violence just moved elsewhere. The straight up still unbelievable idea that you could manage to get a drink at The Star Casino, but everywhere else around it was closed, is pretty insane.
In July the City Of Sydney released a 40-page document (actually a great and worrying study) outlining the ridiculously devastating effect the lockouts have had. During the last five years, over 200 venues across Sydney closed down due to the effect of the lockouts. Over 500,000 less young people have visited Sydney because of the lockouts. We saw over a 50% drop in revenue for live music venues and restaurants, and over 2200 jobs directly lost thanks to this government shithousery.
Or it to make it a bit more simple, the lockouts have cost the city a $1.4 billion turnover. $1.4 BILLION. FFS.
In 2014, I warned the NSW Government that its lockout laws would have a devastating impact on Sydney’s night time economy. I recommended a review of the lockout experiment after one year.
I’m sad to say these predictions were accurate. pic.twitter.com/tXRggvTs61
— Clover Moore (@CloverMoore) July 24, 2019
It’s a rebuilding job now, and who’s to say how long it’ll take. Has the moment potentially already passed? Have people in Sydney moved on from a largely 24-hour night life vibe? Has the mindset shifted from happy to be out past 2am, to I really cbf to stay out past 11pm?
Look let’s hope it’s the former, and the good times roll back asap into the city. But it’s tough to say, and I really hope for everyone’s sake in Sydney (of which I’m one), in Australia, and globally, that the city rises back up again.
Because there are too many good people, great entertainers, and great venues that deserve so much more from out government. And I just hope the coffin hasn’t been nailed up yet.
Image Source: @sydneyinformer