Open Sydney Round Table

(12pm, Tuesday 12 February 2013, Lord Mayors Reception Room)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to our Round Table. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our city.

I welcome you all here today, and acknowledge the NSW Police Assistant Commissioner, Mark Murdoch and the CEO of the AHA, Paul Nicolau.

The work we've done over the last 18 months to develop a long-term vision for Sydney at night was our initiative, in response to a very obvious need. But it's only progressed as far, and as well, as it has thanks to the work, the ideas and the input from all of you.

It has been a very productive partnership, and we are truly grateful for your work and your comments.

Many of you have actively spread the message about Open Sydney, about what a stronger, more diverse night-time economy could mean for the whole city.

Since April 2011 when we began this work, we've given you a discussion paper on future directions; a consultation report on the night-time strategy; research on late-night management areas; a cost-benefit analysis of the Sydney night-time economy, and a bundle of international research on managing a night-time economy.

When we last met in June last year, Council exhibited the Draft Strategy and Action Plan and the feedback from that has been incorporated into the final OPEN Sydney plan which we hope will go to council at the end of this month.

Before we do that, however, we want to tell about the results of our work in these meetings and today, Suzie Matthews, our Late Night Economy Manager, will give you an overview of submissions on the draft plan and outline the finalised strategy.

As you'll remember, some of the key goals for OPEN Sydney are by 2030:

  • 40 per cent of night-time city users will be aged over 40
  • 40 per cent of businesses open after 6pm will be shops
  • The annual night-time economy turnover will double to $30 billion and
  • There will be a 25 per cent increase in night-time economy jobs

Even as we were setting these goals, the night-time economy was growing. Small bars have taken off and the roll-out of food trucks has been very popular.

We're instituting late-night programming in our libraries to complement the late-night openings at the major cultural institutions, and planning for a White Night-type event where cultural institutions open for an entire night once a year.

To give you an idea of what has already been achieved by other organisations, we'll hear from Sandra Chipchase about the global success of Vivid, and, on a more local scale, from Nicki Ginsberg about the fabulous Beams Festival held for the first time last year in Chippendale.

These provide a great foretaste of what a lively, diverse and sustainable night-time economy can be, and what it can do for Sydney.

Thank you all once again for being such fabulous partners in this work. And now I'll hand over to Suzie Matthews.