Sydney’s lockout laws may be scrapped, except in Kings Cross

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has floated the idea of easing Sydney’s controversial “lockout laws” in an effort to enhance the city’s stagnant nightlife, according to the AAP.

However, Berejiklian said she wishes the laws to remain in effect in Kings Cross.

The comments come as a joint select committee inquiry into Sydney’s night-time economy is to be released on September 30. 

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman, who contributed to the inquiry, said the ARA supports the easing of the “lockout laws”, though sees the exclusion of Kings Cross absurd. 

“The failure to include Kings Cross smacks of tokenism, and – as we told the Committee when we appeared before it – gives the appearance of wanting to be seen to be doing something for the sake of it,” Zimmerman said. 

“If you look at the CBD entertainment precinct, it now has a little island to the east where lockouts will continue to apply despite the rest of the area being unrestricted.

“It’s like saying you really can be half pregnant.”

Berejiklian said that while any changes would need to go through cabinet, her personal view is that the laws need to be relaxed.

“Sydney is Australia’s only global city, and we need our nightlife to reflect that,” Berejiklian said, according to AAP.

Zimmerman agrees, though added that global cities shouldn’t close, or be subjected to regulations and conflicting rules to make it more difficult for businesses, and tourists, to trade. 

“This looks very silly, and does nothing for traders in what is one of Sydney’s biggest international tourist draw cards in Kings Cross,” Zimmerman said. 

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