After years of taunts from our southern neighbour, Sydney is finally opening up the night to business.
Sydney’s nightlife has been doing it tough. Not just this year, but for a while now. It has battled on despite the challenges faced, the restrictions, complaints and closures. At times Sydney felt like a shell of its former self and although certain improvements in health and safety were made, many questioned if it was worth it.
Was it? Perhaps. I’m no expert.
But with six years of lockout laws now behind us, Sydney’s late-night bars, restaurants and clubs have a new lease on life thanks to an ambitious NSW government plan that turns the tables on its previous rhetoric and seeks to take advantage of the wee hours.
So, if we’re now going in the opposite direction, maybe locking out the night for Sydneysiders to enjoy wasn’t the best of ideas.
In the Sydney 24 Hour Economy Strategy produced by the NSW Treasury, it says that
True cities of the world never stop.
They surprise and evolve.
They are not just open to change.
They embrace it.
Sydney does this.
What is it that Sydney is embracing?
As part of its ‘core’ businesses, Sydney is opening up the night to performing arts, music and culture, live sports, night clubs and galleries. Cinemas, bars, pubs and hotels will also be granted more flexibility and the necessary help to expand into the evening as well as restaurants, food trucks and food markets to give all Sydneysiders options. Better lighting and street installations like mini-parks will also liven up city spaces.
To go alongside the ‘core’ businesses, supporting night-time businesses will include pharmacies, medical centres, and gyms; supermarkets and other retail stores; and most importantly an improved public transport service.
Some changes have already begun being implemented with many bars and hotels already applying for extensions to their liquor licences as well as others benefitting from the scrapping of outdated liquor licences meaning that they can now offer increased live entertainment options.
One million dollars has also been invested in the Music Now Fund with the aim to support contemporary music in the city as well as pilot arts and cultural programs.
It is time for Sydney to become a ”global beacon of culture, entertainment and amenity.” And we can’t be more excited.
To find out more about Sydney’s vision, head over to the NSW government’s outline and see how you can have your say.