It’s a new dawn for Sydney’s night economy, after council unanimously endorsed sweeping changes to planning controls which should usher-in bonus hours for venues programming live music and kick-start 24-hour trading in the city centre.

On Monday night, the full council met and signed off on reforms which advocates describe as the biggest overhaul to the rules underpinning late night trading in over a decade.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore declared Sydney is now open for business, every hour of the day. “It’s time for Sydney to become a 24-hour city and we’ve now given businesses the opportunity to open around the clock,” she said in a statement issued late Monday night.

Halsey performs in Sydney
Halsey performs in Sydney

The newly-approved proposals, she added, would offer retailers more flexibility, give visitors more late-night options and “enhance our reputation on the world stage.”

It’s the culmination of a years-long effort by Moore, councillor Jess Scully, the assembled Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel and others, who saw an opportunity to pump life back into a night economy that had become something of a bad joke.

Speaking ahead of Monday night’s vote, Scully said the changes would unlock the potential of Sydney’s nightlife. “It’s a plan that sets the foundation for the next 10 years,” she told TIO.