In Business

New South Wales Minister for Jobs Investment Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres

Lockout Laws Repealed For Growing Sydney’s Night Time Economy

Victor P Taffa

Early this morning, Sydney’s ‘lockout laws’ were repealed in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct.

This move brings in extended trading hours for venues and bottle shops and a relaxation of after-midnight drink rules, with existing arrangements maintained in the Kings Cross precinct.

Minister for Jobs Investment Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said while the extended trading hours will provide a boost for the night time economy, community safety will always be a focus.


“There’s been a cultural shift in the city’s night life since 2014, and it’s time to look towards a bright, safe, diverse Sydney after dark, by improving liquor laws and enhancing access to arts, entertainment, shopping and sporting activities that are inclusive and family friendly.” Minister Ayres said.

“Sydney is Australia’s only truly global city and can evolve to embrace an economy which is cranking around the clock, particularly now that light rail services have been running for a month.”

“Stimulating the 24-hour economy is a joint effort and we’re working with the City of Sydney Council and the Committee for Sydney, as well as New South Wales Government agencies, council, businesses and the community to get this right.”

Existing arrangements are being maintained in the Kings Cross precinct and will be reviewed next year along with the following changes which came into effect overnight:

  • Remove 1.30 am last entry for all venues in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, including those on Oxford Street.
  • Remove restrictions on serving cocktails, shots and drinks in glass after midnight in this precinct.
  • Extend ‘last drinks’ at venues with good records in this precinct by 30 minutes.
  • Extend bottle shop opening hours across New South Wales until midnight from Monday-Saturday, with 11 pm closing on Sunday.
  • Increase small bar patron capacity from 100 to 120 across New South Wales.

24 Hour Trains

Restoration of extended trading hours also needs to be complimented with the restoration of 24-hour train operation.

Sydney used to have 24-hour train operation and rail maintenance continued on different railway lines.

24-hour trains can be 4 or 8 car sets depending on service requirements.

Since rail services were cutback, Night Rider Buses were introduced and proved to be totally inadequate as an alternative transport solution.

Night Rider Buses commenced operations on 18 June 1989 and do not provide the same frequency or service reliability as a 4 or 8 car heavy rail train.

Night Rider Buses should be scrapped and new cross-country Bus routes introduced as a forerunner to construction of new heavy railway lines across Metropolitan Sydney and also Regional New South Wales.


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