Cautious optimism. That’s how Sydney’s long-suffering night owls are treating the recent announcement from NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian on a scaling-back of the city’s draconian lockout laws.

It’s been a long time coming. And, certainly, Berejiklian’s decision represents a softening of her hardline stance. Night economy advocates have pushed hard for an end to the CBD restrictions, but no one’s popping the champagne corks just yet. There’s more work to be done.

Almost 800 submissions were delivered to the NSW Government’s Sydney’s Night Time Economy inquiry, with a report from these expected to be issued to parliament on Sept. 30.

The inquiry heard, among other concerns, that 500,000 fewer under-35s were visiting Sydney each year and that the number of venues dedicated to live music had been cut by half in the years since the laws were activated.

Keep Sydney Open, established in 2014 as a reaction and a protest to what many saw as the-then Baird government’s knee-jerk reaction to alcohol fuelled violence, characterises the situation as a “huge moment” for Sydney, though many details remain unclear. Kings Cross has a question mark above it the size of the Coca Cola sign.

The repeal of the CBD lockouts is solid first step, explains Michael Rodrigues, chair of the Night Time Industries Association, which represent a diverse range of stakeholders and venues from across hospitality, entertainment, the arts and culture sectors and other commercial businesses with an interest in the night time economy.