By Andy Young
As the debate continues into the merits and pitfalls of the New South Wales liquor laws and in particular the Sydney Entertainment Precinct lockouts, the opposition Labor Party has proposed liquor licence changes to “reinvigorate Sydney’s nightlife”.
The Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Daley has put forward a proposal to bring a new liquor licence for entertainment and live music venues, which would enable them to stay open longer.
"Small entertainment venues are a really important part of Sydney's fabric from enjoyment to employment. These new measures intend to boost the nightlife and after-hours economy," the Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Daley told the ABC.
"Patrons of small venues with live music have different drinking habits — that's the sort of behaviour we want to encourage in Sydney. This is not about drinking more."
Last week the NSW Government said that it would be implementing the changes recommended in the Callinan Review into the lockout laws, which extended the lockout and last drinks time by half an hour to 2am and 3.30am respectively. The new changes also saw the allowable trading hours for takeaway and home delivery alcohol sales to be extended from 10pm to 11pm.
The Opposition backed these changes but the Labor Party is proposing changes that would also make it easier for small bar to get licences approved quicker.
"The feedback we've been getting is that small venues are finding it very difficult to operate, they are losing money, many have closed," Daley added.
"If musicians in Sydney can't find a venue to play in that will really lead to a reduction in the number of musicians and for Australia's major city that would be a disaster."
Earlier this week TheShout reported that the NSW Small Bar Association had called on the Government to have a more cohesive plan to reinvigorate Sydney's nightlife.