Plans for Sydney’s 24-hour economy revealed

15 September, 2020 by
Madeline Woolway

The New South Wales government has announced its 24-hour Economy Strategy, which details plans to revitalise Sydney’s nightlife.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the strategy aims to drive investment, attract businesses and create jobs, better setting the city up to recover from COVID-19.

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Three key measures will be used to met the ambitions laid out in the strategy.

A 24-hour Economy Coordinator General will oversee industry and council stakeholders tasked with identifying opportunities to cut red tape.

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Second, a 24-hour Economy Acceleration Program will support councils in the activation of 24-hour hubs that reflect local communities.

Finally, a Neon Grid or ‘night map’ will be designed in order to target the investments needed to create a range of diverse 24-hour hubs across the city.

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The plan is built around five Strategic Pillars: integrated planning & place-making; diversification of night-time activities; industry & cultural development; mobility & improved connectivity; and changing the narrative.

“When we started planning this Strategy our goal was to take advantage of the $16 bn economic uplift from realising the potential of non-traditional work hours,” said Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres. “Now, with the job losses resulting from the pandemic, that goal is more important than ever.

“Sydneysiders deserve a global city that’s thriving 24-hours a day, and the world wants a 24-hour Sydney. We are going to turbocharge Sydney by working closely with industry and councils to implement the 39 actions across the Strategy’s five strategic pillars so the productivity of the night can rival that of the day to create more employment opportunities in arts, entertainment and cultural events throughout the evening.

“COVID-19 has hit the tourism, hospitality and the arts sectors hard. This Strategy sets out a pathway to activate home-grown events that create safe opportunities for people to enjoy across Greater Sydney.”

Implementation of the strategy is expected to take several years and will take into account the state’s COVID recovery. In order to the deliver the plan the Coordinator General will be counselled by a Consultative committee made up of NSW Government agencies, industry and council representatives.

NSW Government working groups involving key agencies will work with the Coordinator General to deliver different aspects of the strategy.

“When you think of some of the greatest cities in the world, they are all international destinations with a strong nightlife brand,” said Night Time Industries Association Chair Michael Rodrigues. “The elements that create a diverse and exciting night-time economy in all of these places are outlined in this 24-Hour Economy Strategy, along with a clear plan of next steps. It’s the pathway to getting Sydney on this list of ‘must-visit’ international nightlife destinations and a very exciting step for our great city. The Night Time Industries Association welcomes this vision-setting strategy from the NSW Government as the culmination of cross industry-government collaboration for the last few years.”

“The 24-Hour Economy Strategy outlines a plan to build back better and stronger, re-energising Sydney’s nightlife and contributing to the state’s economic recovery at a time when it’s most needed. However, importantly, while it contemplates our current context with COVID-19, it also looks beyond, recognising great cities aren’t built overnight, with a pathway to deliver a socially and culturally vibrant nightlife for many generations.”

The Committee for Sydney also welcomed the Strategy, with Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Metcalf commending the detailed and comprehensive nightlife plan. “This is a way to showcase the best of Sydney: a young, fun, diverse, creative city that offers the best in culture, dining, retail and entertainment after dark,” said Metcalf.