Sydney’s nightlife will be revitalised and boosted, with the NSW Government set to remove the lockout laws in the Kings Cross entertainment precinct.
This move will help stimulate the local economy and boost jobs, while maintaining a focus on community safety.
The changes, part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan, bring Kings Cross in line with the Sydney CBD precinct where the restrictions were lifted 12 months ago.
The following changes will take effect from 8 March 2021:
- The 1.30am ‘lock out’ will be removed, so patrons can continue to enter venues like pubs, bars and nightclubs beyond that time;
- The standard 3am ‘last drinks’ time will increase to 3.30am;
- Blanket restrictions on certain drinks, shots, discounted cocktails and use of glass after midnight will be lifted; and
- Requirements for RSA marshals and CCTV will no longer apply.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said while the focus will remain on safety in Kings Cross, the changes will help boost jobs and revitalise a popular area of Sydney.
“Kings Cross has transformed considerably since these laws were introduced over six years ago,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The precinct is now well positioned to continue to evolve into a vibrant lifestyle and cultural destination with a diverse mix of small bars, live music venues and restaurants.”
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said these changes would help grow Sydney’s night-time economy and attract diverse businesses to the area.
“These measures will help breathe new life into the precinct and enhance Sydney’s reputation as a global city,” Mr Dominello said.
“The ID scanners system, which requires some venues to record patrons’ ID during busy times such as Friday and Saturday nights, will be retained in the Kings Cross precinct as an additional public safety measure.”
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the changes are key in helping Sydney to shine as a true 24 Hour city.
“Sydney is already an iconic international city and Australia’s number one tourism destination, it’s time to enhance our vibrant nightlife, arts and culture scenes as we bounce back from COVID-19,” Mr Ayres said.
“This is an important step towards implementing our 24-hour Economy Strategy to ensure Kings Cross flourishes into a vibrant, diverse, inclusive and safe precinct as our city powers ahead with confidence.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the new laws strike the right balance between supporting businesses and prioritising safety.
“NSW Police have done an amazing job maintaining public safety in the precinct, and the community can feel confident law and order will remain a top priority,” Mr Elliott said.
“Police will continue to have a strong presence in the area and I want to assure the community that the easing of these laws does not mean a return to a violent Kings Cross.”
The NSW Government will closely monitor the changes and any impacts and conduct a review in 12 months, as it progresses the implementation of its 24-hour Economy Strategy and engages with stakeholders like the Committee for Sydney and City of Sydney Council around a new vision for the precinct.
In 2019, NSW Parliament established a Joint Select Committee to examine regulations across Kings Cross and the CBD precinct.