City Hub

Finding common ground with government will be key to repealing lockout laws

Photo: Alex Blair

BY LUCAS BAIRD

A radical restructure of Sydney’s nightlife is required to solve the issue of lockout laws, according to a Keep Sydney Open organiser.

Tyson Koh of the Keep Sydney Open movement has slammed the government’s current plans around Sydney’s nightlife as preparation for the lockout laws roundtable has begun.

The roundtable, which is scheduled to be held on the 31st of this month, is part of a larger inquiry into the laws and the government has invited community groups and business associations to the event.

Mr Koh claimed that Keep Sydney Open had a plan to restructure Sydney’s nightlife to benefit all but it hinged on finding common ground with the government.

“If we can agree that music, dancing, theatre, food, all that kind of stuff are part of our city’s identity, then we can take the next step which is trying to to ascertain how to facilitate that. And then we can work out how to facilitate that in a safe way,” Mr Koh told City Hub.

But Mr Koh urged that the current lockout laws could not stay in place to make this possible.

“A 1:30 lockout is an insult to those in the city who have earned the right to enjoy their time of on the weekend. It is very limiting for small business, because it means that in this city of over four million people, you have small business owners essentially competing for people’s business in a very limited space of time.”

“It is just unworkable in a city this size,” Mr Koh said.

Keep Sydney Open’s views are supported by a survey hosted on thesocialites.net.

The survey which had over 23,000 responses found that 84 per cent of the respondees found the lockout laws unjustified.  A majority of repondents to the survey were overwhelmingly in the 24-35 Sydneysider demographic

On a scale of five, the average score given to the government’s handling of lockout laws was 1.43.

The Star Entertainment Group will also have a representative at the discussion to put forward their views.

Mr Koh explained that they would welcome the casino’s views at the discussion despite the #CasinoMike campaign that Keep Sydney Open and similar movements have adopted.

“It would be really interesting to hear what the casino has to say about their experience over the last couple of years,” he said.“They are a business like any other so we welcome their views at this discussion.”

The Star Entertainment group did not reply to City Hub in time for publication. Police NSW, Health NSW and the Live Music Office did not respond to City Hub.

 

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