What kind of night life do you want in Sydney? Over the next decade, we want a more entertaining, more interesting and safer late night Sydney, and we want your ideas and opinions to guide our work and help us get there.
Yesterday, I launched an unprecedented consultation program to look at how we can attract a wider range of people into the city centre - people who are interested in more than just large quantities of alcohol. Think the popular Jurassic Lounge on Tuesday nights over the past three months at the Australia Museum, or Surry Hills Library opening late with hilarious and entertaining Thursday night performances.
Shirt Bar - where you can buy a shirt and get a drink - just opened in Sussex Lane. That's the 40th small bar in Sydney since my Liquor Amendment (Small Bars and Restaurants) Bill 2007 and a community campaign led to legislation encouraging small bars. The City's burgeoning small bar culture has attracted national and international media attention, with feature articles in the Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times Style Magazine and Voyeur, and that kind of coverage is likely to attract ever more tourists as our night time culture develops.
We began with a round table with State Government representatives, leaders from the restaurant, retail, transport, liquor and gaming, tourism, entertainment, arts and events industries, and residents' groups.
Whether you are a resident, venue customer or operator, business, retailer or visitor, we want to hear what you like and don't like about the City at night, and what changes you would like to see.
Please take part in:
- An open online forum where you can have your say, and get involved in discussions with other interested people - http://sydneyyoursay.com.au/nighteconomy
- Community forums in Kings Cross and Potts Point, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, the central City and Pyrmont, Glebe and Newtown, and the City South.
We'll also be out asking people visiting the city at night what they think, and will hold targeted focus group sessions with institutions and businesses.
The City has commissioned research looking at the value of the night time economy and assessing evidence of what makes global cities safe at night. City staff are also preparing a comprehensive report on pedestrian volumes, anti-social behaviour and how people enter and leave late night entertainment areas. Our extensive consultation program will lead to a discussion paper to go to Council later this year, which will be publicly exhibited and then inform our policy.