After years of venue closures and endless Keep Sydney Open rallies, it looks likes proposed changes to the lockout laws may finally be getting somewhere — well, depending on who you talk to. Since the then-Baird administration's December announcement that NSW's controversial lockout laws will be relaxed by half an hour, 20 more venues across Kings Cross and the CBD have been approved for this exemption. The new law has pushed last drinks for these venues from 3am to 3.30am and lockout from 1.30am to 2am.
We announced the first wave of approved venues back in February — which included World Bar, Stonewall, The Palace Hotel, ArtHouse Hotel, and the Observer Hotel — and the list has grown relatively quickly by an additional 15 venues since then. The extension is largely based around a venue's ability to provide legitimate live entertainment, with police records and liquor law compliance history also taken into consideration.
The State Government of course sees the relaxed law as a compromise between preserving Sydney's cultural identity and reducing nighttime violence, but opponents have criticised the law as not doing enough — including Keep Sydney Open who took to Twitter back in December to vent their frustration, calling the legislative changes a "joke". It seems at least some of the approved venues are happy with the extension, though, with rather supportive managements from the Kings Cross Hotel and Potts Point Hotel reported by The Daily Telegraph.
Recent months have admittedly seen some resurrection in our city's nightlife, with iconic music venues The Lansdowne and Flinders Hotel recently reopening under new management and this month's Meet Me in the Cross taking over seven venues in a precinct-wide festival. We just hope the good news keeps on coming.
VENUES WITH EXTENDED OPENING HOURS
Kings Cross Hotel
Potts Point Hotel Slip Inn Oxford Art Factory The World Bar
The Arthouse Hotel
The Cliff Dive
Mr B's Hotel
The Scary Canary