The proposed changes to the planning controls for late-night trading in Sydney are now open for public consultation and all members of the liquor and hospitality industry are urged to have their say.

The proposed changes include new and extended trading areas, changes to hours and encouraging more diverse trading. The proposals are through the City of Sydney Council and so cannot overturn Sydney lockout laws, but it is hoped that the changes will attract a wide range of people to help create a more balanced and safe night-time economy.

Councillor and deputy lord mayor, Jess Miller, spoke about the plan at the recent launch of the Night Time Industries Association and said that it was crucial for everyone to have their say during this consultation period, which started yesterday and runs until 8 February 2019.

“The lockout laws only affect a very small proportion of the City of Sydney. So this whole process of the Development Control Plan, basically determines what you can do where and until how late.

“But the point I really want to make is that we need you, as the industry, to help make people care about [this plan]. The public consultation is the pointy end of this whole process for the ‘late night map of fun’. This is such an amazing plan, we’ve got whole new precincts in Alexandria, we’ve got new thinking around what can happen in Redfern and Surry Hills. And we’ve got all these other pieces of parallel policies around things like reducing red tape.

“But the real final push will rely on all of us here making sure the public, everybody in your contact book and everybody on your social media bothers to get involved in the consultation and say ‘yes, this is a good thing’.”

The DCP has five key changes proposed to the late-night trading planning controls. The City of Sydney lists these as:

  • A 24-hour city centre – extend the late night management area along George Street across the city centre and increase maximum trading hours from 5am to up to 24 hours.
  • Increase hours for low impact venues in local centres – align the controls with NSW Government rules and allow lower impact venues, including small bars, to trade until 2am. This will apply to venues where entry is on a main street and not in a residential laneway or area.
  • New areas for new communities – identify late-night trading areas in suitable urban renewal precincts. These include Barangaroo, Walsh Bay, Green Square town centre, Danks Street, East Village shopping centre and an arts focused industrial heritage warehouse area in Alexandria.
  • Extend existing areas – recognise venues in Chippendale, Redfern, Surry Hills and Lankelly Place in Potts Point, which have emerged since the planning controls were reviewed in 2007.
  • Encourage performance, culture and unlicensed businesses –
  • Allow unlicensed shops and business, such as bookshops, clothing stores, drycleaners and hairdressers to trade up to 24 hours in city living or late night management areas and up to 2am in local centres.
    • Describe dedicated performance venues, such as theatres, concert halls and cinemas with up to 250 patrons, as lower risk premises and allow these venues an additional trading hour at closing time.
    • Allow venues that host performance 1 additional trading hour at closing time on the night of the performance.

Other changes include providing guidance on appropriate trading hours for low impact venues outside of the precincts, consolidating plan of management requirements and earlier start times for morning service at pubs, bars or cafes.

The time to get involved with this is now, industry is urged to share this information and help the public and consumers to understand they need to back these plans to help start the process of reviving Sydney’s night-time economy.

Head to the City of Sydney website now and have your say.


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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