Barry O’Farrell’s new lockout laws, which apply to inner city suburbs including Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, The Rocks and Darling Harbour, came into effect at 12am today.
Announced in late January and rushed through parliament following the death of Sydney teenager Daniel Christie, the reforms aim to reduce the level of alcohol-fuelled violence across the city’s nightclub hotspots.
Bottle shops will be required to close their doors at 10pm from today, and pubs and clubs that fall under the specified areas must impose new lockouts.
Partygoers will not be able to enter a venue for the first time after 1.30am, and pubs and clubs are no longer permitted to serve alcohol to patrons after 3am.
The reforms have received much criticism, with figures including John Ibrahim arguing the laws will not bring about a reduction in alcohol-related violence, meanwhile bartenders are worried their businesses will suffer.
On the other hand, industry organisations including Restaurant & Catering Australia support the move and believe it will lead to safer streets.
According to Steffan Ippolito of Oxford Commercial, interest in venues outside of the reform area has increased as a result, reports The Daily Telegraph.
“Inquiries are probably up 40 percent in the last few weeks. Pubs outside the lockout are going to be more valuable and we are already seeing increased demands in places like Erskineville, Newtown and Paddington,” he said.
He added Justin Hemmes’ recent acquisition of the Paddington Arms Hotel has generated increased interest in the suburb from pub and club operators.
“People [are] saying Paddington may be the next suburb to be in,” Ippolito said.