It’s been more than five years, but common sense has now prevailed, with the controversial Sydney lockout laws now being scrapped across the CBD.
Back in early 2014, then-NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell made a knee-jerk response to late-night violence across the state by implementing a series of highly-controversial lockout laws across the state.
The new legislation meant that 1:30am lockouts (and a 3am call for last drinks) were now being enforced in venues across the entertainment precinct of the Sydney CBD, including Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Cockle Bay, The Rocks, and Haymarket.
Understandably, this news was met with severe backlash by almost everyone in the country, with many criticising the government’s response as short-sighted, and one that would cripple the state’s nightlife and reputation as a global hotspot.
Now, following years of rallies, petitions, and passionate pleases to Keep Sydney Open, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made the astonishing decision to scrap the controversial laws across most of the CBD.
As the ABC reports, Premier Berejiklian announced this news early Sunday, revealing that while safety will remain of the utmost importance, the time has come for Sydney to return to its former glory.
“It’s time to enhance Sydney’s night-life,” Ms Bereijklian explained in a statement. “Sydney is Australia’s only global city and we need our night-life to reflect that.”
However, widespread partying after 1:30am isn’t quite on the cards yet, with the lockout laws set to remain in effect in Kings Cross, which has long been seen by the NSW Government as a hotspot for alcohol-fuelled violence.
In a social media post made by the Keep Sydney Open party, it’s clear that some questions still remain about the relaxation of these laws, with answers presumably set to arrive in the coming days and weeks.
“This is a huge moment,” Keep Sydney Open wrote. “Years of campaigning has led us to this point. We should all be very proud of our dedication, hard work and persistence.
“There are still many details that are unclear. Why is Kings Cross left out? What about Oxford Street? When are closing times? Either way, we will all need to pitch in to rebuild our city’s nightlife, live music scene and local culture from this point on.”
The ABC also notes that a report into Sydney’s night-time economy is set to be released in the coming weeks, having been undertaken by a joint parliamentary committee earlier this year.