Collateral damage of Sydney lockout laws is ‘devastating’ - Daily Telegraph

In 2014, our city community faced a very real and serious problem with alcohol-related violence in Kings Cross and the CBD.     Blood soaked brawls had tragic consequences for young people and their families, and left residents distressed and emergency services overwhelmed.   The City of Sydney called for 24 hour trains and other public transport to avoid people being stranded, drunk on the streets. We called for an end to lifetime licences that allowed badly managed venues to operate with impunity. And we called for an end to the concentration of large venues in areas like Kings Cross.   Something had to be done. So when the state government finally took action, I commended them for it, even though it wasn’t the action I’d been advocating for.   I also warned that the laws would have a devastating impact on our city’s cultural life and night time economy, and recommended a review of the lockout experiment after a year.   Almost six years later, I’m sad to say these predictions have been accurate.   Non-domestic assaults in the city may be down – arguably a natural outcome of reduced foot traffic in affected areas – and many large, badly managed venues have now closed. But the collateral damage has been devastating.   Scores of small bars, live music venues, well managed clubs, pubs have also closed, not to mention the shops on high streets that once relied on the foot traffic venues brought in.   The lockouts were a sledgehammer to crack a nut, when what we needed were carefully considered, evidence-based solutions.   The good news is that the current parliamentary inquiry offers an opportunity to revisit these options.   Several key things have changed in the past six years.   There have been significant changes to the Liquor Act and Regulation, meaning lifetime licenses can now be cancelled. Badly managed venues are given three strikes with escalating penalties that can ultimately result in them losing their licence. There has also been a clear change in public sentiment. In a recent public consultation by the City, over 10,000 residents and visitors to our city told us they wanted policy change to create a safe, vibrant and diverse nightlife. We responded by developing our late night development control plan.   The plan allows for 24-hour trading across the entire CBD, and until 2am on village high streets. It creates new late-night trading areas in some of the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods, establishes a new 24-hour cultural precinct in Alexandria, and rewards venues holding live performances and creative events in late-night trading areas with an extra hour of trading.   Despite these efforts, licensed premises are still subject to the NSW Government’s lock out laws. But if they are removed, the City’s plan will allow venues to apply to extend their current trading hours in two-hour increments, through trial periods and following a development application process. This would allow later trading to evolve over time for well-managed venues. I support the removal of the 1:30am lockout and the 3am end-of-service laws, but the State Government needs to bring in other measures that make global cities work. We need 24-hour trains and other public transport to ensure people can get home late at night, like in Melbourne or London. We need to further strengthen liquor licencing to provide incentives for good management and penalties for badly managed venues, and we need policies that encourage venues to spread out across the city, rather than concentrating them in areas like Kings Cross. The City of Sydney’s night-time economy is worth more than $4 billion to the NSW economy and employs over 35,000 people. The removal of the lockouts would develop this further.   But more importantly, the removal of these draconian laws, combined with the Council’s policy to encourage trading after dark, has the potential to herald an exciting new era in our city’s cultural and artistic life.   I encourage the State Government to remove the lockouts and introduce sensible reforms to ensure Sydney has the safe, vibrant and diverse nightlife fitting of Australia’s global city.

Inner city charities benefit as Clover Moore salary donations top $1.4 million

Lord Mayor Clover Moore will today donate $170,000 to three inner city charities from her Lord Mayor's Salary Trust, taking donations from her Trust to over $1.4 million since she was elected in 2004.

MEDIA RELEASE: Independent team for the City of Sydney revealed

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore today revealed her team of Independents to take on the City of Sydney election on September 10.

Clover Moore to stand for re-election as Sydney Lord Mayor

More than ever our city needs the continuity of strong independent community leadership. Today I announce that I will stand for re-election as Sydney’s Lord Mayor. 

UrbanGrowth's shocking plans for Central to Eveleigh

What’s been proposed is wholesale carnage of our city area - the densities they’re proposing are almost unbelievably big. 

Statement on City's submission to Callinan lockouts review

The City of Sydney's submission to the NSW Government's Callinan review has recommended measures to reduce alcohol-related harm while supporting a lively and dynamic night-time economy.Our submission puts forward a package of recommendations that, taken together, encourage good venue management and support our live music and cultural sectors, while balancing the needs of residents and making no compromises on public safety.We want a civilised, safe late night economy with different options for people of all ages to go out and enjoy themselves after dark, without the blood soaked, drunken punch ups on the street.The City spent years trying to get successive State Governments to respond to a worsening situation in the Cross. We knew what the problem was - too many venues in one area, lifetime liquor licences that reduce accountability, and a planning system that doesn't recognise when an area has become saturated.Rather than addressing the real problems, the NSW Government's response was to introduce a blanket lockout across the city centre and Kings Cross (with an inexplicable exemption for the casino).It was a sledgehammer when what we needed was a well-researched, evidence based, flexible response using transport, planning, licensing and police.There is no doubt the lockout law made some areas, especially Kings Cross, safer and returned normalcy to residents and that must not change.But the lockout law has hurt Sydney's cultural life and had negative impacts on businesses, including live music venues, small bars and restaurants, and many people have lost their jobs. It's a significant sector - in 2013, late-night activities were valued at over $17.8 billion and employed more than 30,000 people.Well-managed late-trading premises are essential to our city's cultural life and economic growth - and people need to feel safe, no one wants to wake up to blood and urine on their doorstep. We need to get both right.These exemptions, on a trial basis, based on evidence, and backed up by renewable licences, saturation controls and late night transport, will ensure we don't return to the Kings Cross that was bloody and violent every weekend.-Lord Mayor Clover MooreThe City's submission will present 31 recommendations, including: A 12-month trial exemption from the 1.30am lockout for well-managed premises and live music and performance venues; Reconsideration of the blanket 3am 'last drinks' rule, taking into account a venue's compliance history, planning controls, and local factors; Continuation of the 10pm take-away liquor sales restriction as a measure to address pre-fuelling; Replacing the existing liquor license freeze with new 'saturation zone' rules that consider the number and type of licensed premises in a given area, along with relevant crime data and transport options; Making base trading hours until 2am consistent for all small bars across NSW, along with an increase in their capacity limit from 60 to 120 patrons; Reduction or removal of the 'trading hours loading fee' (paid by venues considered 'high-risk' because they trade after midnight, are located in the CBD or Kings Cross entertainment precincts, or have a high patron capacity) for small bars and live music and performance venues; Non-renewal of a venue's liquor license for ongoing non-compliance or representation on the 'violent venues' list; The extension of train services on Friday and Saturday nights until after venue closing times, to ensure people can get home quickly and safely; Establishment of a licensing panel, with representation from Liquor and Gaming NSW, NSW Police and the relevant local council to review and determine liquor license applications and revisions; and Establishment of NSW Government-led working groups focusing on the development of a sustainable night-time economy, including support for the live music sector, and late-night transport improvements. If all recommendations were to be implemented, the City would also recommend the NSW Government consider removing the 1.30am lockout for all venues.  

Statement on Council Amalgamations

I welcome the government's decision to leave the City of Sydney's boundaries unchanged.The City is powering as never before - we have a 10 year, almost $2 billion infrastructure program, as well as $30-40 billion worth of private development coming over the next decade.We were amalgamated in 2004 so we know they take three to five years to be fully complete. During that time a significant focus of the organisation must be on the actual amalgamation itself, rather than fully focusing on delivering projects, infrastructure and services.This decision means we can get on with the job of working with the state and federal governments on the big projects that will keep Sydney's economy booming and get our public transport moving again.Over the past 10 years, the City has consistently delivered debt-free budgets, kept residential rates among the lowest in Sydney, and delivered high-quality infrastructure needed by our community and the 1.2 million people in our city each day.We're working with the state government on light rail to get the city moving again, overseeing an unprecedented construction boom, and delivering the nation's biggest urban renewal project at Green Square.Our boundaries strike the right balance between commerce, community benefit and our broader global responsibilities.Our independent auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers said Council is in a strong and stable financial position, with all financial indicators better than accepted industry benchmarks.The NSW Government's own Treasury Corporation (TCorp) rates the City's financial sustainability as 'Strong' with a positive outlook - the only one of 152 NSW Councils to receive this rating.IPART's report to government declared the City of Sydney 'meets the scale and capacity criterion as a stand-alone council and would be fit as a stand-alone council'.It said the 'City of Sydney is a well run council with significant scale and capacity. It has proactively partnered with governments, undertaken significant CBD based urban renewal, and approved a large range of development projects to grow the CBD.'

Statement on 'Tibby' Cotter bridge blowout

"This project was a disaster all along. The community was outraged, and the Auditor General's report shows they were right," the Lord Mayor said."The independent Auditor General's report shows Tibby Cotter was badly handled, chronically mismanaged and came in way over budget wasting millions of dollars.""By stuffing up the much smaller Tibby Cotter project, this report raises serious questions about Duncan Gay's ability to manage the massive $15 billion WestConnex project.""The Auditor General states that the government 'never clearly demonstrated that the walkway should be built' - this is exactly what has happened with WestConnex.""As he did with Tibby Cotter, Duncan Gay has been trying to push through WestConnex without a business case. The oversight and governance provided by his office is clearly inadequate - it's time for a thorough review.""Taxpayers should not have to pay for Duncan Gay's mistakes.""Before any other contracts are signed Duncan Gay needs to explain why he is building it when: It won't improve access to CBD jobs as 89 per cent of Western Sydney workers commute to the city on overcrowded public transport; It doesn't align with the State Metropolitan Strategy to create job opportunities in Western Sydney and transport links to them; It won't help transfer freight from Port Botany and Sydney Airport to Western Sydney - as critical linking roads are unfunded; It doesn't take into account Badgerys Creek Airport; According to SGS modelling it will increase traffic on Parramatta Road by up to 25 per cent and could jeopardise the renewal of the road; and It will massively increase congestion in inner city areas such as Newtown, St Peters, Green Square, Alexandria, Waterloo, Redfern and Erskineville. MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Levinson 0499 319 385 or mlevinson@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

Statement on Hyde Park Memorial

Today's Daily Telegraph suggests the City is not committed to the Hyde Park Anzac Memorial. This is completely false.The City of Sydney is investing more than $24 million restoring war memorials, maintaining Hyde Park, and creating Australia's first memorial to honour indigenous servicemen and women. The Daily Telegraph was made aware of this spending, but chose to ignore it.On 10 September last year, the City wrote to the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet seeking to confirm existing funding arrangements for Memorial's redevelopment. The City is still awaiting a response. Ahead of the Anzac centenary the City spent $173,000 on heritage restoration work to 10 war memorials across Sydney. These include: First World Memorial to Pyrmont-Ultimo Servicemen in Pyrmont; Oddfellows Memorial in Hyde Park; Emden gun in Hyde Park from German Ship SMS Emden, sunk by HMAS Sydney; WWI Soldiers Memorial in Woolloomooloo; World War I memorial in Redfern Park; The Artillery Gun in Redfern Park; Newtown War Memorial on King Street; Paddington War Memorial on Oxford Street; The Cenotaph in Martin Place; and Archibald Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park. With the support of the RSL, the City is also looking forward to launching on 31 March, a public art tribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women in Hyde Park. The City invested more than $500,000 in the project.The City has also provided almost $70,000 in sponsorship to the RSL, History Council and other groups for Anzac Day related events and activities. This includes $20,000 for outdoor screens and audio visual equipment at Martin Place so that more people can take part in this year's dawn service.The City has spent $5.6 million in the past 10 years on Hyde Park, with $23.5 million committed for the next 10 years, including the avenue of trees framing the Anzac Memorial and supporting public domain works, tree replacement and works to support the NSW Government project to upgrade Museum Station.Operational expenditure on Hyde Park for the past 10 years was $17.56 million, with $10 million allocated for the next 10 years.

The Facts on Rats in the City

The City has a regular pest control program in place, which involves installing and monitoring bait stations in public places, and we place additional traps in response to community complaints.There's no accurate way to count the number of rats in the city. However, it is not uncommon to see more rats in summer as people spend more time outdoors.The City of Sydney ensures events in parks have strict waste controls in place. The City's waste teams clean parks daily to minimise food available to vermin.City staff say there doesn't appear to be any recent increase in numbers of rats.Council regularly monitors bin collections to ensure they are carried out efficiently and with minimal adverse impact on residents and the amenity of the street. This involves regular site audits and visits as well as fortnightly meetings with contractors and performance reviews to make sure their contract obligations are met.We are currently working with residents and businesses in Llankelly Place, Kings Cross, to stop bins being left on the street between collections. Staff are working to have bins collected from within buildings, which is normal practice across the City's area.The City of Sydney carries out local waste collection and recycling services for Housing NSW residences in our government area. Managing and removing any illegally dumped items from its properties is the responsibility of HNSW.Winter is the most active time of year for rats feeding. Generally, rats will seek out food and water close to the nest or in familiar locations.The City advises property owners to remove overgrown vegetation and accumulated rubbish which might attract vermin, and ensure regular pest control is carried out.The City monitors public areas regularly and responds to reported sightings.In areas outside the City's jurisdiction but in our local government area, such as railway stations, the City liaises with the relevant state agency to ensure complaints are addressed.Councils have powers under state legislation to impose fines for breaches with adverse environmental or health impacts.People can report issues to the City's customer service team on council@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au or phone health and building on 9265 9333.http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/residents/health-and-safety/pest-controlDownload this fact sheet as a .pdf: The Facts on Rats in the City

Lord Mayor celebrates New Year in Chinatown

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has celebrated the New Year with lion dancers, firecrackers and performers in Chinatown.The Lord Mayor was joined by Councillor Robert Kok, who organised the event and is chair of the City of Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival Advisory Group.The Councillors greeted hundreds of people and handed out traditional lucky red packets, known as lai-see, to eager crowds in Dixon Street and Sussex Street."I was thrilled to welcome the new year with sounds and sights of Chinatown. I hope the year of the sheep brings prosperity and happiness to everyone in our community," said the Lord Mayor."Our Chinese New Year Festival attracts more than 600,000 visitors to Sydney, but it's awalys wonderful to spend time here in Haymarket to see how much it means to our local community."In the 2011 Census, over 5% of the City of Sydney's population identified as being born in China, while 11.6% of the population nominated Chinese as one of their ancestries.Haymarket has been home to a significant Chinese-Australian community for more than 100 years. Over the past five years the City of Sydney has been upgrading streets and laneways throughout Haymarket to help attract more visitors to the area.In 2012 Little Hay Street, Factory Street and Kimber Lane were improved with wider footpaths, new street furniture and lighting, more trees and beautiful public art.Improvements and traffic changes to Thomas Street between Hay Street and Quay Street are part of the second stage of transforming Chinatown.The design for the area includes a new public space on Thomas Street between Ultimo Road and Thomas Lane, widened footpaths, more street trees and furniture, new paving materials and timed street closures.The Lord Mayor's acknowledged the continuing contribution Haymarket businesses and community members makes to Sydney's New Year celebrations.

Shooters Bill should be abandoned after major changes recommended to Melbourne model

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called on the NSW Parliament to abandon the Shooters and Fishers Party City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014 after it was revealed today that an independent review of the Victorian local government election process has recommended major changes to business voting in Melbourne.The review of Victoria's local government electoral system, chaired by former MP, respected senior Liberal Petro Georgiou, has recommended abandoning the City of Melbourne electoral system, the same system the Shooters want to impose on Sydney."The argument used by the Shooters, the Liberal Party and their few supporters has constantly been that 'Melbourne does it so we should follow suit' - today we've learnt that the Melbourne model of business voting could fundamentally be changed," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said."This review has debunked the claim that the Melbourne business voting model works and sends a strong warning against adopting a system that Melbourne may soon abandon."It would be unthinkable for the NSW Government to now push through these undemocratic and deeply unpopular changes."The key recommendations in the Georgiou report include: Corporations should have one vote - not two as proposed in the Shooters Bill; The Victorian Electoral Commission should be responsible for preparing the City of Melbourne roll, not the City's general manager - the Shooters Bill does the reverse - transferring responsibility from the NSW Electoral Commission to the City of Sydney CEO; Automatic enrolment of business voters should cease - Under the Shooters Bill business voters will be automatically enrolled without their consent. "Serious concerns have already been raised about the Shooters Bill, particularly the possibility that many small businesses may lose their right to vote."The findings of the Georgiou review provide the strongest case yet for the unpopular Shooters Bill to be withdrawn," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said."If the government refuses to withdraw its support for the Bill, it should be referred to a Parliamentary Committee for detailed scrutiny. This Committee should examine all aspects of the Bill, taking into account the Georgiou report recommendations and submissions from the public and local government election experts."