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19th of July 2018

Australia News

Could 24-hour public transport revive Sydney's nightlife?

City of Sydney councillor and panel co-chair Jess Scully said lockout laws had "a really devastating impact" on established nightspots such as Darlinghurst, Kings Cross and Oxford Street.

But she said the city's nightlife had diversified in recent years, with businesses and revellers shifting to Newtown and parts of Redfern.

"There's a real willingness to pile on to this narrative that Sydney's closed down and the lockout laws have killed Sydney," she said.

"The whole panel wants to move away from saying nightlife is dead in Sydney, to nightlife has changed in Sydney."

Ms Glasscock said the group would also look to advocate for the state government to introduce round-the-clock public transport so revellers could move between entertainment precincts safely and easily.

"I think it's time for us to move away from from that idea of day and night and move towards a 24-hour city," she said.

A group of nightlife and creative experts want to challenge the perception that Sydney falls quiet after dark.

A group of nightlife and creative experts want to challenge the perception that Sydney falls quiet after dark.

Photo: Janie Barrett

The group also wants to see less regulation for businesses and more flexible building use for creative projects.

The advisory panel is made up of 15 hospitality, arts and culture, business and public safety experts.

Their input will inform proposals being developed by the City of Sydney as it looks to shape the future of the city's nightlife and creative sector.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a statement she was aware of the challenges faced by artists, musicians and workers in Sydney’s creative sectors and late-night economy.

“It is critical that we look beyond the NSW government’s lockout laws and support the manyindividuals and businesses who are committed to keeping Sydney’s nightlife diverse, vibrant andinteresting.”

The group will give advice on reforms proposed in the council's Open and Creative City discussion paper, released last year in a bid to revive the city's beleaguered late-night economy.

It will also consider the feedback of more than 10,000 people who called for more late-night venues as part of the council’s review of planning controls that determine trading hours and locations of night-time premises across Sydney.

Megan Gorrey is a reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was previously a reporter at The Canberra Times.

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