Baird Government announces changes to Sydney Lockout Laws
The NSW State Government has announced plans to adopt the main recommendations of the Callinan Review handed down in September 2016. That review focused on the impact of the lockout laws on small businesses and the tourism industry compared with emergency admissions as a result of alcohol related violence since their introduction in 2014.
The government announced that the lockout laws would be relaxed with closing times for venues in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts to be moved from 1.30 am to 2.00 am and the “last drinks” rule extended another 30 minutes to 3.30 am. Bottle shop hours will also be extended from 10.00 pm to 11.00 pm across the state.
The government hopes that the changes which came into effect in late January 2017, will assist struggling live entertainment venues but has confirmed that these changes won’t apply to nightclubs, karaoke bars or strip clubs.
A government spokesperson stated that the laws are “designed to balance the desire to maintain Sydney’s vibrant nightlife with the need to save lives from alcohol related violence”. The government will continue to review the statistics surrounding hospital admissions for alcohol related violence annually with a view to returning the laws to their former status if levels of violence increase.
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