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Sydney’s final lockout laws abolished

The last of Sydney’s lockout laws have been scrapped, with Kings Cross moving in line with the rest of the CBD from March 8.

In a bit to revive the city’s night-time economy, venues allowed to operate beyond 1.30am, with last drinks pushed back to 3.30am.

Restrictions on drinks, shots, cheap cocktails and the use of glass after midnight will be lifted. Requirements for responsible service of alcohol marshals and CCTV will no longer apply.

Lockout laws were removed for Sydney CBD venues in January last year however the restrictions remained in place in Kings Cross.

“There is no doubt kings cross has changed … but now is the time we want to reinvigorate our city’s economy,” Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said.

“This is the change to start a new chapter for the Sydney city and Kings Cross.”

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello added that it was a “critical move” in promoting Sydney’s 24-hour economy.

“[Sydney] was smashed during the pandemic and we need to everything we can to get her back to her former glory,” he noted.

Alcohol Beverages Australia has welcomed the move, saying it will boost to the city’s economy and global reputation.

ABA CEO Andrew Wilsmore said: “We have long argued lockout laws were a blunt instrument to solve a problem that required a targeted solution. It’s long overdue but this sensible decision comes at a time when the hospitality industry – one of the country’s biggest employers – is crying out for help.

“Australians have shown they can drink responsibly. This final relaxing of lockout laws is an belated recognition of our changing drinking culture. Let’s make sure we all stay safe and sensible.”

The decision leaves Newcastle as the last precinct in NSW to keep lockouts in place.

Michael Rodrigues appointed inaugural 24-Hour Economy Commissioner

The strategy to unlock Sydney’s cultural and economic potential will be championed by Chair of the Night-Time Industries Association Michael Rodrigues, who has been appointed as the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner.

“Michael Rodrigues as the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner will spearhead the strategy and bring State and Local Governments and industry together to create safe and vibrant opportunities for people to enjoy the greatest city in the world,” Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said. 

“I can’t wait to take the role on formally at the end of March and work with Stuart Ayres and NSW Government, industry and local councils to reinvigorate our night time economy,” Rodrigues said. “We have a plan. Let’s deliver it!

“To the NTIA which I chair and the network of advocates with whom we have worked with closely the last few years, thank you for your support, belief and collegiality. I look forward to working with you albeit in a new capacity. You are critical to the success of the 24 Hour Economy Strategy.”

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