Let's revitalise Sydney's nightlife

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Let's revitalise Sydney's night life

It’s no secret Sydney’s nightlife was hit hard by the NSW Government’s lockout laws.

As Independent MP for the area and Lord Mayor, I saw the violence on the streets – but the Government’s lockouts were a hammer blow where an evidence based approach could have improved safety without compromising our city's music and late night culture. 

Our night-time economy is estimated to produce $3.64 billion in revenue per year, involving more than 4,600 businesses and employing over 32,000 people.

The creative sector is also vital to Sydney’s future – in 2013 NSW Government research found the state is home to 40 per cent of the nation’s creative industries workforce, contributing $1.4 billion to the NSW economy. A significant proportion of this is concentrated in the City of Sydney local area.

In 2013, we adopted OPEN Sydney, the late night policy, after a massive program of consultation and detailed research.

We looked at the ways people move around the city, using heat mapping to identify hotspots, consulted with residents, venues, emergency services and others, and built a deep understanding of the way people use our city at night.

Many actions from OPEN have now been incorporated: we’ve led Sydney’s small bar revolution and introduced food trucks, upgraded taxi ranks and improved wayfinding, increased CCTV, developed (and are now implementing) a live music action plan, and funded late night ambassadors.

Now, we are adding to the City’s work by taking three major next steps.

On October 23, Council voted to:

  • Establish a Late Night Economy & Culture Advisory Committee: to provide expert advice on the implementation of the City's cultural and nightlife policies and strategies.

  • Review our night time planning controls ‘Development Control Plan: Late Night Trading Premises’: we will be prioritising a comprehensive review into the rules that the Council uses to decide whether to approve applications for bars, venues and other late night trading across our City.

  • Introduce our Open and Creative City plan: this will make it easier for small businesses to trade later into the night, develop fairer methods of managing entertainment noise and encourages more small-scale cultural events and activities across our City.

Whilst the NSW Government sits on its hands, we are continuing to work hard to boost our Night Time Economy. Sign up and I'll let you know about opportunities to take action.