Since Sydney's lockout laws were introduced back in 2014, many aspects of the legislation has been criticised. One of those criticisms has been that those invested in Sydney's nighttime economy — that is, venue owners, musicians and people going out late at night — have not been consulted in these changes that have, in some cases, greatly affected them. But it seems as though the City of Sydney is trying to change that, this morning announcing that it will create a brand new Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel.
The panel will offer advice on new nightlife initiatives and help to identify issues, as the City of Sydney — who has been vocally opposed to the laws, which it describes as a "sledgehammer blow" — sets out to improve its engagement with the local cultural, creative and nightlife communities. It's not dissimilar to systems in place in other major cities, including Amsterdam who has a Night Mayor.
It hopes the panel will be able to help it understand "the challenges and opportunities facing Sydney's nighttime economy" to "realise our vision for Sydney as an exciting and diverse 24-hour city" even with the lockout laws in place.
And anyone can apply to be on it. It's after a crack team of experts to jump on board, inviting those working in hospitality, live music and performance, business, retail, urban planning, public safety and property development to voice their interest in joining the team. The submissions are open from today until Monday, February 26. The panel will have up to 16 representatives, with at least two under the age of 30.
Of course, the City of Sydney can't change the lockout laws — that's up to the NSW Government. But Lord Mayor Clover Moore sees this as the next step in the fight to get Sydney's nightlife offering back up to scratch."Unfortunately, there is no escaping the fact that the NSW Government's lockout laws have put the brakes on Sydney's night-time economy," she said today in a statement. "We have long maintained it's possible to have a nightlife that is both safe and vibrant."
"We will keep advocating for changes to the laws, but in the meantime we need government, business and industry to work together to identify practical ways to boost our night-time culture and support businesses operating in the night-time economy."
The Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel is taking applications until 6pm on Monday, February 26. You can apply and find more information here.