Keep Sydney Open

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The NSW State Government has announced that 1.30 lockouts for inner city venues will be implemented on February 24, 2014. 

From then, 1.30 am lockouts and 3.00am last drinks in the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts and a statewide ban on takeaway alcohol from 10pm will come into force. 

The legislative measures include:

- Creation of the new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
- 1.30am lockouts enforced at hotels, registered clubs, nightclubs and karaoke bars across the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct and Kings Cross Precincts;
- 3.00am cease service of alcohol in those venues across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts;
- Introduction of temporary banning orders for troublemakers in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
- A Freeze on new liquor licences and approvals for existing licences across the new precint; and
- A band on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm across NSW

"The NSW Government makes no apologies for these tough measures - businesses and patrons will need to adjust to the changes because improving the safety and amenity of the CBD is in everyone's interests." NSW Premier Mr Barry O'Farrell said,
"I expect the vast majority of venues will do the right thing and implement the new trading conditions without incident. However, any failure to comply can result in fines of up to $11,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months - and is an offence that can incur a strike under the NSW Governemnts Three Strikes disciplinary scheme."

In response the Sydney Late Night Culture Alliance has been formed by a variety of key Sydney live music and performance venues, cultural organisations and music industry stakeholders, including the Association of Artist Managers, and also includes MusicNSW, FBI Radio,SLAM, Good God, Oxford Art Factory,Themusic.com.au, In The Mix and more. Together we have joined forces to fight these tough new laws imposed on those who work and play in the city. 
FACTS:

  • Live Music Venues have been demonstrated to increase feelings of safety in the night time environment, improve social bonds, and contribute to overall wellbeing and happiness (Deloitte Access Economics, 2011)
  • There are over 2,500 licenced premises in the City of Sydney LGA, of these 143 are registred with APRA|AMCOS as live music venues (CoS Live Music and Performance Action Plan, 2013)
  • As live music venues generally trade with lower profit margins, reduced patronage as a result of the lockout laws will result in higher rates of closure for cultural venues than general licensed premises that are subsidised by gaming or pokies revenue. 
  • A freeze on license approvals in the lockout zone is going to stifle the cultural growth of our city, right at a time when small bars and cultural venues are proving to actually reduce violence.

The Alliance believes:

  • That any model to reduce alcohol and drug related violence in Sydney should be based on the experiences of other global cities, and not the model imposed on Newcastle, a regional town.
  • That based on evidence, a lockout and many of the Premier's other porposals are designed to fail. We do not support a 1.30am lockout or 3.00am closure of licensed venues that are geared towards cultural activity - be that live music, theatre, performance art or some other form. 
  • Significant improvements must be made to Sydney's transport system, in the CBD and surrounds to ensure public transport remains accessible long into the night and that people can get home quickly and safely. 

We support safe nights in a global city. We support Live music. Out mission is to keep Sydney Open. 
Members of the Sydney Late Night Cultural Alliance include MusicNSW, FBi Radio, Australian Music Industry Network, 2ser, Street Press Australia, In the Mix, Good God, Oxford Art Facotry, MyChoice Australia, The Music Network and many more. 
Want to join the alliance and stay up to date on developments please email Kirsty Brown at MusicNSW kirsty@musicnsw.com

Colin McAlpine