The NSW Government Wants to Facilitate More Outdoor Dining and Live Music Through New Reforms

The Vibrancy Reforms promise to cut down on red tape around al fresco dining, live music, diversifying venue offerings and noise complaints.
Ben Hansen
October 19, 2023

The New South Wales Government wants to overhaul "outdated, complicated and often duplicated regulation" across the state in order to facilitate a more thriving nightlife. Newly introduced Vibrancy Reforms legislation is set to deliver changes in six key areas that the government hopes will lead to more live music, more outdoor dining and less trouble with noise complaints.

The six areas of reform that are expected to be addressed are sensible sound management, nightlife precincts, outdoor dining and entertainment, the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner's remit, licensing and an improved night-time sector for workers.

"This is a clear statement of intent from the State Government that the night-time economy matters," said Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO Mick Gibb.

"If NSW is going to realise the full potential of these reforms, we need Local Governments to get behind the suite of options at their disposal. By creating vibrant, diverse and safe Special Entertainment Precincts, a local council can shape the type of night-time ecosystem it wants to create for its community," Gibb continued.

Among the reforms, you'll find commitments to streamline noise complaints, extend the success of the Enmore Road Special Entertainment Precinct to other areas across the state, make applications for al fresco dining quicker and less strenuous, and make the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner a statutory role.

While many local councils have been pushing for an overhaul of the noise complaint system, venues such as The Great Club in Marrickville have still run into issues with neighbours, even in supportive councils like the Inner West. These new reforms will remove noise tests, which are highly subjective, from the system. They'll also see all issues go through Liquor and Gaming NSW.

"The NTIA is delighted to see the government stick to its election commitment and make the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner's role a statutory appointment. This is a measure that will mean there's a champion for the night-time economy embedded into the government so we can avoid ever going back to the devastation of lockout laws while maintaining public safety at all times," said Gibb.

The Vibrancy Reforms also include promises to remove outdated regulations, meaningfully encourage venues to host live music and the arts, and ensure that after-dark staff from healthcare workers to security and retail have the support they need.

The announcement comes less than a month after Western Sydney's Lakemba was named a global Purple Flag-accredited safe nightlife zone alongside international areas including London and Stockholm. It's the third Sydney precinct to gain the recognition, following YCK Laneways' and Parramatta CBD's certification.

Cassandra Hannagan

For more information on the New South Wales Government's proposed Vibrancy Reforms legislation, head to the NSW Government website.

Top image: Jasmine Low.

Published on October 19, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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