Sydney needs to get the Night Right

The Sydney Business Chamber has told the Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s Night Time Economy that regulatory restrictions on activity, most notably the introduction of ‘lock out laws’ in Sydney’s Kings Cross and CBD have negatively affected business activity, jobs, and the attractiveness of Sydney as a major tourist destination. 
Sydney Business Chamber Executive Director Katherine O’Regan appeared at the Inquiry on behalf of the Sydney business community earlier today.
“While we supported the introduction of lockout laws at the time, it is time to try other measures that can ensure safety and showcase Sydney after dark, Ms O’Regan said. 
“We believe a more sustainable solution involves improving safety in our city while enabling and promoting nighttime activity and commerce. 
“Our submission puts forward several recommendations that show regulation could be amended to create a safe and inclusive nighttime economy which doesn’t necessarily focus on bars or venues orientated around the sale of alcohol, but instead supports all businesses including restaurants, retailers and suppliers.   
“Sydney’s night time economy already stands as a significant economic contributor, supporting 4,600 businesses and employing more than 32,000 people. However, the Sydney Business Chamber believes, and the evidence shows, good policy and planning could enrich our cultural fabric and generate a more robust economy. 
“Piloting the removal of lockouts, improving Sydney’s late night transport, diversifying night time activity, boosting community policing, as well as introducing new restrictions on violent offenders, would positively impact after dark activity within the City while keeping residents and visitors safe. 
“For the world’s most competitive 24 hour cities, shopping hours extend well beyond the classic 9:00am – 6:00pm and are a main sources of entertainment for travelers. Late night shopping helps keep places like London, New York and Tokyo as world leaders. Sydney can’t afford to be left behind,” Ms O’Regan said. 

Phoebe Mccarthy