While the state government reviews the effectiveness of its controversial lockout laws, the ban on new pub and club licences in Kings Cross and Sydney’s centre has been extended for another 12 months.
"We want […] to have certainty and confidence that nothing will change while we conduct this major review," said Troy Grant, NSW deputy premier and justice minister.
"Once the review is complete the government will have a firmly stated position about the future of lockouts," he said.
According to the SMH, the review will consider the perspective of emergency service workers and criminologists – who are largely in support of the lockout laws, thanks to their curbing of alcohol-fuelled violence on Sydney’s streets – as well as the business lobby, which argues that the laws have crippled the city’s nightlife and continues to hurt hospitality businesses in the area.
According to Doug Grand, a spokesperson for the Kings Cross Licensing Association, 13 venues have closed since the lockout laws were introduced in 2014, including Hugo’s Lounge, La Cita Latin Restaurant Bar & Club and The Flinders.
New licences in Kings Cross were first banned in 2009 however were extended to an area covering most of the CBD in 2014.
The news comes less than a week after it was revealed a new report from the City of Sydney found that late night foot traffic in Sydney’s CBD and a number of its surrounding precincts has continued to decline resulting in lower levels of anti-social behaviour.
Friday night foot traffic in Kings Cross recorded at 11pm counted 2,000 fewer pedestrians when compared to pre-lockout laws figures in 2012, representing a drop of 58 percent, and 4am foot traffic in Kings Cross and Oxford Street dropped by 80 percent when compared to 2012 figures.