The organisation is calling for the public to march to save Sydney's nightlife on October 9th.
Yesterday, the results of former High Court Judge Ian Callinan QC's independent review of Sydney's controversial lockout laws were delivered in the form of a 151-page document. Although the review acknowledged that Sydney's vibrancy and nighttime economy had been negatively impacted by the laws, Callinan's recommendation was for the government to relax the measures only slightly—to extend lockout and last drinks times from 1:30 AM and 3 AM to 2 AM and 3:30 AM respectively.
Anti-lockouts group Keep Sydney Open have today responded with the call for a rally to follow up on the 15,000-strong demonstration held earlier this year. Spokesperson Tyson Koh says "with each passing day the lockouts are in place, Sydney's cultural life is damaged, small businesses are jeopardised and our internationally recognised artistic talent is finding it harder to be paid for their work. A 30-minute extension misses the point, that Sydney wants policy that encourages safe and vibrant nightlife at anytime. Major cities around the world can do it and we can too."
Demands from the group for the NSW government to addresses the negative impacts of the laws—and ultimately repealing the lockout laws—are accompanied by KSO's own list of recommendations for "evidence based policy" which are listed as follows.
- Developing best-practice policing strategiesKoh concludes by saying "we will work with the government and relevant stakeholders in any way we can to improve the living standard of all Sydneysiders."
- Investing in 24/7 public transport
- Implementing integrated urban planning reform
- Encouraging diversification of after-dark activities
- Establishing anti-violence education & intervention campaigns
- Incentivising well-run venues
- Appointing a Night Mayor or similar
A time and location for the rally is yet to be announced. Head to the Keep Sydney Open website for more information on the movement.
Photo credit: Amy Piddington