After nearly six years, Sydney’s CBD lockout laws are expected to be repealed on Tuesday (January 14) – with the exception of venues in Kings Cross.
The lockout laws, which prevent the public from entering clubs or bars after 1.30am and prohibit takeaway sales of alcohol after 10pm, were originally implemented in February 2014 across the CBD entertainment precinct to curb the amount of alcohol-related violence in the city.
Last November, New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that the lockout laws “will be gone”, adding that the government “did not take this decision lightly”. “Of course, we will review everything after 12 months,” Berejiklian had stressed in her statement, according to Sydney Morning Herald.
Following tomorrow’s repeal, patrons will be allowed to enter bars after 1.30am, and venues will now be allowed to serve alcoholic drinks until 3.30am. Meanwhile, bottle shops can continue business until midnight from Monday through Saturday with the exception of Sunday, when they must abide by an 11pm curfew. Small bars in NSW will also be allowed to increase their patron capacity from 100 to 120.
All of the above will not apply to Kings Cross, where the lockout laws will still be in force.
In a statement last week, as per SMH, NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said: “We’ve seen what happens when Sydney vacates the field in terms of responsibility. […] We want people to enjoy themselves, but to do so responsibly. This is an opportunity for Sydney to really shine.”
Ayres added, “I expect, like any Friday or Saturday night, people will be able to see a visible police presence”, though he said the decision to increase police manpower was an operational matter for NSW Police.
The end of Sydney’s lockout laws follows other new entertainment-related regulations in the state. In December, the NSW government announced that it will roll out drug amnesty bins at upcoming music festivals. The measure, which allows punters to dispose of pills and substances without fear of penalty, was first tested at Sydney’s NYE In The Park.