- "We know the balance isn't right yet in terms of Sydney's nightlife," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said recently.
Sydney's longstanding Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, is supporting a series of reforms that will attempt to boost the city's beleaguered nightlife industry.
Introduced in 2014, the lockout laws have devastated the city's bar and club scene, forcing venues to shut by 2 AM (until recently, the curfew was 1:30 AM). "Unfortunately, the lockouts have had a serious impact on Sydney's cultural life, businesses and our reputation overseas—and while areas like Kings Cross are safer, we know the balance isn't right yet in terms of Sydney's nightlife," Moore told local newspaper The Sunday Morning Herald earlier this week.
The reforms, which were outlined by the City Of Sydney in a new paper titled An Open And Creative City, include adopting the agent of change principle for new residential developments within 100 metres of a club or live music venue. The rule, which London mayor Sadiq Khan has also vowed to implement, is designed to protect venues by forcing developers to pay for the soundproofing of new properties, rather than the venue owners. (In Sydney, the rule would also apply in reverse—if a new music venue opened, it'd be on them to finance the soundproofing of any nearby properties.)
Shops and local businesses would also benefit, with opening hours extended until 10 PM, while small-scale cultural events—talks, exhibitions, film screenings—could be arranged spontaneously, without having to seek prior approval. They'd also be allowed to serve alcohol in limited circumstances.