By Ian Neubauer

The City of Sydney said it has received dozens of submissions from small bar operators keen take advantage of new planning and licensing laws that came into effect across the state yesterday.

Aimed at facilitating a small bar culture, the new regime aims to cut red tape and vastly simplify the license application processes for low-impact premises with floor areas of less than 200 square meters. It also annihilates a prohibitive costing structure that was blamed for the proliferation of large-format ‘beer barns’ and poker machines in the state.

Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore MP, who championed the small bar campaign last year, welcomed the new regime.

"We hope this change will help deliver Sydneysiders the range of choices that they deserve and which have long been available to residents and visitors in other major capital cities," she said.

Small bar zones are being planned for CBD laneways identified by planners as having good potential in accordance to the City’s new Late Night Trading Development Control Plan.

"This is about revitalising our city’s villages, building a diverse, eclectic and unique culture, and providing opportunities for local and emerging artists, entrepreneurs and encouraging a healthy live music scene,” Cr Moore said.

However, the Melbourne CBD small bar scene upon which Sydney’s is being modelled has come under fire in recent months following increased reports of alcohol-related violence in the area.

Mounting public concern there has led the Brumby Government to place a moratorium on new bar applications and introduce a controversial 2:00am lockout that came into effect last month. 

The City of Sydney said yesterday it would respond to questions regarding how it would prevent an escalation of alcohol-related violence in areas where new bars are planned. However, its response was not received before this story was posted today.

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The Shout Team

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