Labor has welcomed the end of the lockout laws across Sydney’s CBD as an opportunity to bring vibrancy back to Sydney.
However, Labor has called on the Government to implement the repeal of the lockouts in early December to coincide with the start of the Sydney Light Rail, so businesses and venues can get a much needed boost in tough economic times. This would provide a stimulus to the NSW economy as economic storm clouds gather.
Labor has also called on the Government to appoint a proper Minister for the Night Time Economy instead of merely appointing Stuart Ayres as the manager of the Government response to the Joint Select Committee report.
The Government’s announcement comes after Labor announced its support for repealing the lockout laws in Sydney’s CBD and called on the Government to appoint a Minister for the Night Time Economy in early November of this year.
Labor called for repeal of the lockout laws after the Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s Night Time Economy recommended that they be repealed in the city, and after a spate of venues were forced to close their doors.
These laws have contributed to the loss of nearly five hundred small businesses, including a 50 per cent reduction in the number of our key live music venues, and have had a serious impact on the working lives of musicians and other artists.
Labor has raised concerns that the existing additional thirty minutes trade currently permitted for live music venues will be scrapped under the government response, and has called on the government to clarify if it will remain. This provision was introduced following the Callinan review. Its scrapping would be a further blow to live music in Sydney.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said: “I am glad that we are seeing the end of the lockout laws across the CBD. I welcome the Government’s support for the Joint Select Committee’s recommendations.”
“Why do businesses and venues have to wait until January to get the benefits of a repeal of the lockout laws? Surely the time to do this is in early December when the Light Rail opens so that businesses and venues can get the most out of the Christmas period.”
NSW Labor Shadow Minister for the Night Time Economy John Graham said: “The Treasurer admitted today that ‘The government doesn't do fun well…’
“That is certainly true of this government.”
“This a step in the right direction, but if we’re going to get Sydney moving we need to see real action from the Government.”
“We need a dedicated Minister for the Night Time Economy, not a part time manager of the government response to this report.”