Recent updates: Sydney’s night-time economy

There have been a number of recent updates regarding the regulation of Sydney’s night time economy.

+             A Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s night-time economy has been established to inquire and report into any measures required to maintain and enhance community safety and individual and community health outcomes, ensure existing regulatory arrangements in relation to individuals, businesses and other stakeholders, including Sydney’s lockout laws, remain appropriately balanced, enhance Sydney’s night time economy and other directly relevant matters. The Committee is receiving submissions until 2 July 2019, will conduct public hearings on 5 and 12 August 2019 and will report to the NSW Parliament by 30 September 2019.

+             The Liquor Legislation Amendment (Repeal of Lock-out Laws) Bill 2019 is currently before the NSW Parliament for consideration, which proposes to amend the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 to repeal provisions that prevent patrons from entering licensed premises in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross Entertainment Precincts after 1.30 am.

+             The City of Sydney Council (Council) has recently unanimously voted in favour of new development controls to enable more late-night trade in Sydney’s CBD.

These changes mean that businesses in the city centre – between Hyde Park, Darling Harbour and Central Station – can now apply to Council for 24-hour trading. In addition, bars and restaurants located on a number of key high streets can now seek approval for extended trading to 2am, a new cultural precinct is to be created in Alexandria, and late-night trading areas will now be established in fast-growing neighbourhoods like Barangaroo and Green Square. Venues in late-night areas holding live performances and cultural events will also be able to stay open for an extra hour.

These new provisions will be considered by Council where businesses seek extended trading hours by making a development application (or modification application) to the City of Sydney Council (where required). This process before the Council may be subject to ongoing trial periods as a means of monitoring noise pollution and any undesirable behaviour during any extended trading hours. Council may also require the preparation of a Plan of Management addressing how businesses will mitigate noise impacts on neighbouring premises during extended trading hours.

Venues with an existing liquor licence may also be required to apply to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to change the conditions on their liquor licence or apply for an extended trading authorisation to allow for any extended licensed trading approved by Council.

If you are interested in extending the licensed trading hours of your venue then please contact Back Schwartz Vaughan to discuss your requirements.