State premier Gladys Berejiklian has agreed to "take stock" of the notorious licensing restrictions after five years.
More than five years after the tough licensing restrictions were implemented, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that the head of the Liberal state government has ordered a cross-party committee to review the notorious licensing restrictions and "take stock." The move comes after motions put forward in the upper house by members of the Greens and Shooters & Fishers parties to abandon the laws.
"After five years of operation, it makes sense for us to now take stock and examine whether any further changes should be made," said the Premier. "We have always sought to strike a balance between limiting alcohol-related violence and maintaining a vibrant night-time economy." A media release from the NSW government says the review will focus on community safety, health outcomes and Sydney's night time economy.
Anti-lockouts movement-turned-political party Keep Sydney Open responded via Facebook, saying "This is big news for Sydney. We learnt with the last review that talk is cheap. But now we've passed the tipping point of public sentiment and there's momentum for change. Let's be clear—removing the lockouts is not the end game. Repealing without replacing them with a coherent strategy for managing nightlife would be reckless and will land us right back where we began. At the end of the day, a more vibrant and diverse nightlife is a safer one…it's good for jobs and growth... it's good for creativity and culture."
Sydney's notorious lockouts were introduced in 2014 in response to two one-punch deaths in Kings Cross, with 1:30 AM last entry and 3 AM last drinks restrictions put in place across the city's CBD. In 2016, following an independent review, those restrictions were relaxed by half an hour, however last year a parliamentary inquiry found there had been a net loss of 176 venues across the city since the laws came into play. A report released in February by Deloitte Access Economics also concluded the city was missing out on $16 billion due to an underdeveloped night-time economy.