The mob spoke and the government (sort of) listened: from 2017, Sydney’s draconian lockout laws will be softened to allow people into bars until 2am. However, the relaxation of the rules will only be permitted under certain conditions. Here’s what you need to know.
The Baird government has heeded the suggested recommendations in a review of the laws by former High Court judge Ian Callinan. The new 2am curfew – 30 minutes later than the existing cut off – will operate as a trial for two years. Last drinks will also be pushed back 30 minutes to 3.30am and the statewide curfew on buying drinks to takeaway will be lifted from 10pm to 11pm.
Unfortunately, the new rules will not apply to all Sydney bars: to qualify, a venue must offer genuine live entertainment, live performances or “art and cultural events”.
According to the government, the lockout laws have resulted in a safer, quieter and cleaner city although many have criticised the laws for damaging Sydney’s nocturnal atmosphere and revenue. The slight adjustment is seen as something of a compromise.
“We are confident [the changes] will further enhance night-life in the precincts without undermining the essential purpose of the laws – which is to make the CBD and the Cross places where people can enjoy a safe night out,” NSE Premier Mike Baird said.
The changes to lockouts, takeaway sales, and small bars will start in January.
[Via Business Insider]