By Andrew Starke

The City of Sydney has stepped up its criticism of the NSW State Government’s record on dealing with violent incidents in licensed venues, accusing the Planning Minister of bypassing community consultation.

In what she called the Labor Government’s ‘dying days’, Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP accused Minister for Planning Tony Kelly of changing the rules and assisting ‘irresponsible sections of the hotel industry at the expense of community opinion’.

"Council resolved last week to call for community comment on planning measures designed to control poorly managed premises, including venues where anti-social behaviour has resulted in violent assaults, with police and paramedics continually called to respond," said Moore.

"This responded to the Minister's previous order to revoke improvements-but with a time frame that allowed proper process and consultation. The amendments contain minor corrections and safeguards to ensure poorly managed venues are not continually rewarded with later trading.

"The Minister for Planning has suddenly amended State Regulations to enable him to order Council to revoke the improvements without prior exhibition, and has issued a new Direction requiring that this revocation be completed by March 3.

“The time frame shows he is determined to get his outcome the day before the government must go into caretaker mode on March 4. If Council doesn't act by the new deadline, the Minister can act himself, assisting irresponsible sections of the hotel industry at the expense of community opinion.”

The City had planned to place the DCP on exhibition from February 21, 2011 to March 20, 2011.


In 2007 the Council underwent an extensive public consultation to develop the City of Sydney Late Night Trading Premises Development Control Plan (DCP).

Late last year (2010) the City Council adopted City of Sydney Late Night Trading Premises Development Control Plan (DCP) 2007 – Draft Amendment No. 1 – after repeatedly warning 'problem venues' to step into line. 

According to council, Amendment No. 1 provided minor improved the previous DCP, including grammatical corrections, references to legislation and planning instruments that no longer exist, updated maps and making adjustments to recognise new powers given to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

However, on December 14, 2010 the Minister for Planning directed the Council to revoke all of Amendment No. 1. Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, said he had done so because it was an ‘inappropriate use of planning powers’ and had caused uncertainty in the community.

“The proposed changes would have allowed the council to review conditions for operating hours and patron capacity at 14 days notice, along with subjecting premises to potentially endless rolling trial periods for operating hours beyond ‘base’ approved hours,” Kelly said at the time, accusing the council of trying to implement a ‘one size fits all’ policy.

As a result the Council was forced to prepare draft Amendment No.2, effectively returning DCP to the form in which it was adopted in 2007.

To comment, click here


The Shout Team

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *