Sydney’s Lockout Laws Will Finally End Tomorrow
After more than five long years, the much maligned Sydney lockout laws will be eased tomorrow.
Introduced in 2014 in response to the deaths of two young men from alcohol fuelled violence, it was meant to reduce the number of incidents stemming from nightclub hotspots like Kings Cross, the CBD and anywhere in between.
While a lot has been said about the efficacy of the laws, we can all rejoice about the fact that but much of Sydney's night scene will return to pre-lockout laws.
The entertainment precinct, which was the area where the lockouts applied, will be back open for business, except for Kings Cross, which will still be under restrictions.
Bars will be able to sell drinks until 3:30 and also serve things like cocktails, shots and doubles after midnight.
Places with a 'good' record will be able to extend last drinks by 30 mins, according to news.com.au.
Bottle shops across the state will be able to close at midnight, instead of 11pm, except for on Sundays where the curfew will still be in force.
NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres explained why the rules were being relaxed midweek instead of at the weekend.
"We've seen what happens when Sydney vacates the field in terms of responsibility," Mr Ayres said. "We want people to enjoy themselves but to do so responsibly. This is an opportunity for Sydney to really shine."
The state government will be hoping the rule change will mean a bit more money will be naturally injected into the local economy.
A Deloitte Access Economics report revealed that New South Wales was losing a whopping $16 billion every year because of the lockout laws.
But Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is hopeful that will all change.
"We are working to ensure the NSW economy grows and provides an improved standard of living for our citizens, and a big part of this is stimulating growth in the night-time economy," he said.
Mr Perrottet was supported by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who also is expecting the area to pick up a lot from tomorrow.
She added: "While the extended trading hours will provide a boost for the night-time economy, community safety will always be a focus."
But don't think that everyone is off scot-free.
The state government will be keeping a very keen eye on how the entertainment precinct reacts to the law change and will be doing a review in one year. So if everyone stuffs it up then we'll be back to the good ole lockout laws.
Featured Image Credit: luke_reynolds/Flickr