Community leaders and business groups in Newcastle have this week met with NSW Government’s Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello, to discuss the future of the city’s Night Time Economy in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic. 

Minister Dominello met with Newcastle City Council, NSW Police Local Area Command and Hunter Business Chamber members to discuss ways to create more diverse entertainment options for the State’s second biggest city.

“We are taking this opportunity to listen to a range of opinions on how the Government can help support a vibrant and safe night-time economy for Newcastle as businesses recover from COVID-19,” Dominello said.

“The Newcastle CBD has been transformed in recent years with the Honeysuckle redevelopment, a new light rail line and the opening up of the foreshore through the removal of the heavy rail line and this offers great potential for revitalization of local nightlife.”

Last year’s Parliamentary Joint Select Committee’s report into Sydney’s Night-Time Economy supported a review of Newcastle liquor licensing conditions as well as working with Newcastle City Council to rejuvenate local nightlife.

“Many local residents are rightly proud of what was achieved through the Newcastle solution but 12 years on, in line with the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee looking at the Night Time Economy, it is the time to look at a review,” Dominello said.

“For example, many of the restrictions remain in force and have been imposed beyond the original 14 hotels onto other venues including small bars.

“We will need a joint effort by the Government, the council and industry to put in place the right foundations for a thriving and safe night-time economy in Newcastle.”

A range of licensing restrictions specific to Newcastle were introduced in 2008 in an effort to curb the escalation in alcohol-fuelled trouble in the city. A New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority review in 2018 said that the main lockout conditions will remain in place, including a 1am or 1.30am patron lockout and a corresponding 2am or 2.30am closing time.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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