Major businesses move to relax Sydney "lockout laws", restore vibrant nightlife

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-05 12:11:12|Editor: Li Xia
Video PlayerClose

SYDNEY, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Major businesses and industry representatives have taken the opportunity to speak out against Sydney's controversial lockout laws as a Joint Select Committee reviewing the matter heard from the public for the first time on Monday.

Leading organisations including Airbnb, Sydney Airport and the International Convention Centre signed a letter to New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Gladys Berejiklian, warning of the cost to Sydney's economy if the measures continue.

Introduced in 2014 in response to high levels of alcohol-related violence, the laws primarily include restricted entry to certain venues after 1:30 a.m. and a cap on the sale of alcohol after 3:00 a.m.

Now, businesses say that it is time to review the effectiveness of the laws in reducing alcohol related incidents, weighed against their effect on the city's night-time economy.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the letter signed by the businesses stated "Sydney's night-time economy has underperformed in recent years."

"This makes it harder to recruit talented people to work here, to encourage tourists to visit and to support our growing creative, knowledge and visitor experience sectors."

Along with over 30 other signatories, the organisations urged the Joint Select Committee to reestablish a "diverse and vibrant night time economy in Sydney."

"It has the potential to identify better regulation that supports rather than stifle enterprise, to create more constructive engagement between the private sector and state and local governments and to revitalise precincts across the city at night," they said.

Some health groups, however, remain in support of laws regulating the sale of alcohol and even suggest expanding their reach.

"A vibrant night-time economy is about more than alcohol -- it includes fitness and sport options, arts and culture, extended shopping and transport choices, food options, and sport," The NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association said in their submission.

The committee will report to the State Parliament with their findings on Sept. 30.