Planning Minister Silent on Late Night Violence

One day after Council adopted refinements to our Late Night Trading Premises Development Control Plan (DCP) 2007, the Planning Minister directed us to revoke them, without explanation.

The amendments to the current DCP were adopted following extensive community and industry consultation and support from residents, the Police Association, Australian Medical Association and the Nurses Association whose members see the devastating effects of alcohol fuelled violence first hand every weekend.

Contrary to an ugly and misleading campaign financed by a few anonymous people with industry interests, the DCP amendments had nothing to do with a blanket shut down of Sydney's nightlife.

Our nightlife economy is strong and I want it to stay that way. Under the DCP, many venues can operate until late. Good operators need not fear their hours will be restricted.

This is about creating a vibrant city night life. I believe that the City should have many options for people visiting at night and that is what the small bars campaign was about.

What our amendments do is simply ensure that unsafe and poorly managed venues are not rewarded with later trading particularly those where violent, anti-social behaviour results in attacks on patrons, fights spilling out onto the streets, serious disturbances to neighbourhoods and police and paramedics continually being called to respond.

The amendments are minor. They include grammatical corrections, removing references to legislation and planning instruments that no longer exist, updating maps and making adjustments to recognise new powers given to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

Given they were so minor, the City has sought clarification about the Minister's concerns and his reason for ordering it be entirely revoked. It's been two months and we still have heard nothing. I am concerned he is simply bowing to pressure by vested industry interests.

On Monday, Council's Planning, Development and Transport Committee will consider publicly exhibiting the changes ordered by the Minister, as required by State legislation.

Members of the public are welcome to address Councillors at that Committee meeting.

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