By Andrew Starke

The Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has unveiled a plan to promote Sydney as a world class late night city just weeks after she was accused of campaigning to shut the city down at midnight.

The new initiative will see museums, cafes and art galleries as well as retail outlets in Sydney asked to stay open for longer while council staff have been charged with developing a wide reaching policy for the city's late night economy.

This will cover everything from better transport options to safer pubs and clubs.

However it is not clear what, if any, financial support will be offered to bars, shops and cultural institutions to cover the costs associated with longer operating hours.

"We want a thriving and diverse night time economy," the Lord Mayor said.

"People should have choices if they are heading out at night – from a street bar with live music, to an energetic club to an inspiring art exhibition or bookshop.

“Currently most cultural venues and cafes operate normal business hours and are not often open till late. It needs to change – it's time Sydney catches up to the rest of the world.”

The policy will be developed in consultation with the community, NSW Government, NSW Police, Transport NSW and the liquor industry.

"Sydney has almost 2000 licensed venues,” said Moore. “Many of our pubs, clubs and bars do the right thing and promote sensible drinking but there are a few where drinks are continually served to drunk patrons or where rampant drug use is ignored resulting in violent, anti-social behaviour such as attacks on other patrons and fights spilling out onto the streets.”

The Lord Mayor said that in coming weeks, the City will implement a number of measures to improve safety for people out late at night, including:

  • A 12 week trial of late night "Precinct Ambassadors" on George Street;
  • A trial of new directional signage to improve access to transport and public toilets;
  • Improvements to the Bayswater Road secure taxi rank in Kings Cross.

The mayor again called the State Government to account for rejecting council’s proposed amendments to late night trading policy.

"Our aim was to make the city safer by rewarding venues that do the right thing and in the worst instances winding back privileges from the small number of venues continually doing the wrong thing,” she said.

"Unfortunately the State Government bowed to industry pressure and a misleading and vicious campaign and asked the City to delete the changes and re exhibit an option that doesn't have the additional safeguards.

"That option will go on public exhibition at the end of February for around 28 days and we want to hear what the community thinks about it."

The Late Night Trading Premises Development Control Plan 2007 – Draft Amendment No. 2 can be viewed at Town Hall House, Glebe Town Hall, Kings Cross and Redfern Council Drop In Centres or on its website by clicking here.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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