Lockout laws era comes to an end

14 January, 2020 by
Madeline Woolway

Sydney’s contentious ‘lockout’ laws will be almost entirely reversed as of Tuesday 14 January, 2020.

Venues in the city will be able to increase their trading hours with 1.30am last entry removed for all venues in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct. Restrictions on cocktails, shots and drinks in glasses after midnight are also easing:  ‘last drinks’ rules have been extended by 30 minutes to 3.30am for venues in the CBD Precinct with good records.


Existing conditions will be maintained in the Kings Cross precinct.

“This is a turning point for the city and is the result of work by many across government, industry and the general public to get Sydney back on track.
Sydneysiders, alongside those who make our night-time great, are ready to see the first steps to a city revival,” says Michael Rodrigues, chair of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).


“The lift demonstrates the Government recognises the value of the night-time economy and this is a first step to meaningful reform. It’s crucial we come together and build a nightlife hand-in-hand with all the night time stakeholders to ensure it’s positive and sustainable. We need to channel the spirit of Sydney in the late ‘90s as we prepared to showcase ourselves to the world during the 2000 Olympics. That effort saw all stakeholders come together: industry, health, police and transport, collaborating to produce a great result. We’ll be working with our members and the rest of the night time ecosystem to make sure we use this opportunity to rebuild Sydney’s nightlife, the right way.”

Sydney institution, and NTIA member, Oxford Art Factory is set to launch their first lockout free night of trade on Friday, 17 January.


“The 14th of January is a day in history when we, as providers of all things music and culture, are able to come back to some semblance of how we used to operate successfully five years ago,” says the venue’s CEO and founder Mark Gerber.

“We are excited to lift the restriction and will be welcoming patrons into the venues until close. These three iconic venues which have been popular with Sydneysiders for over 18 years will be celebrating this exciting start to 2020 with DJs and entertainment every weekend,” said Paul Waterson, CEO from Aus Venue Co.

Venues need to be prepare for ‘lockout’ laws roll back

Waterson spoke to Hospitality after New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the repeal on Thursday 28 November.

“I think the government’s response has been excellent,” Waterson said. “What we’d like to see is a collegial, industry-wide approach to resolving issues — that goes for providers, regulators and the police.”

Hospitality businesses, he added, need to be prepared for the roll back, to ensure the transition is smooth. Australian Venue Co., for example has had success with Venue Safety Plans as well as training programs designed to equip their teams with the ability to diffuse conflict.

“Ultimately, it comes down to systems and processes,” he said. “[If] the industry comes together and establishes what is best practice around patron safety and patron offerings [it will] benefit of the whole industry.”

Image: Kailash Gyawali


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