Stakeholders' Luncheon

(12.30pm 6 June 2012, Lord Mayor's Reception Room, Sydney Town Hall)

Hello, everyone, welcome. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who live in our city.

For the past 12 months, the City has been developing our long-term vision for Sydney at night. All of you have given most generously to help us create a city that is lively, well-connected, with diverse entertainment options - an inviting global city by night as well as by day.

Our wide public consultations were accompanied by an extensive research program and they were combined in a number of documents which went on exhibition last October. These included:

  • our discussion paper OPEN Sydney - Future Directions for Sydney at Night
  • the Night Time City Policy Consultation Report
  • the Late Night Management Areas Research - City of Sydney
  • the Sydney Night Time Economy - Cost Benefit Analysis and
  • the Night Time Economy Management - International Research & Practice.

Between October and December, we received 16 written and 87 on-line submissions. They came from the public, from NSW government departments, from industry associations, from cultural and business stakeholders, and two from residents.

The majority were very supportive of most of the directions proposed in OPEN Sydney and people thought we were getting it right with the delivery of major events and outdoor festivals. They appreciated the emerging small bars scene, the work to reinforce the character of each city precinct and our efforts to consult with people without a pre-written policy.

What most people wanted improved was better-integrated late night transport - no surprise there! - more diversity of choice at night for all age groups, quality food choice across the night, creative and beautiful lighting, more toilets, moves to address the aggressive drinking culture, less red tape and improved partnerships across all sectors.

Our research showed the night time economy generated $15.1 billion turnover in 2009. It employed over 27,000 people - or seven per cent of all jobs in the city and generated tax revenue of over $450 million.

There are associated costs, however, including $125 million (on 2009 figures) borne by state and local government for transport, policing, health and cleansing services.

Our Draft Policy and Action Plan aims to mitigate some of the down-sides while opening Sydney as a safe, accessible, diverse and attractive night-time destination.

Already, many cultural venues including the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Museum, the State Library and the MCAQ are all running highly successful night-time programs.

A number of licensed venues are venturing into programming ranging from pop up art gallery to ping-pong tournaments, and many others.

All of this is building to a diverse, safe and sustainable sector, which boosts tourism and city visits, while safe-guarding the interests of our growing residential population.

This will only come about through the involvement of all the stakeholders - which is all of you. Once again, I'd like to thank you for all you have contributed so far and in return, to offer you this preview of the final draft.

Once again, we welcome your input. Thank you.