24-hour economy reforms support nightlight revival post COVID-19

The NSW Government is inviting community feedback on the second stage of its 24-hour economy liquor law reforms, which propose a host of changes to kick start Sydney’s night time economy post COVID-19 and beyond.

The draft Liquor Amendment (24-hour Economy) Bill 2020 aims to create a vibrant and safe 24-hour economy, with risk-based liquor laws that support business.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello and Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the proposals follow on from the Government’s response to NSW Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s night time economy.

“The proposals will help boost the state’s night time economy by removing outdated laws, simplifying licensing processes and creating a new incentives and sanctions system that rewards licence holders with a clear record,” Mr Dominello said.

“We want pubs, bars and hotels to hit the ground running on the other side, but we are mindful of how rules such as social distancing may need to be accommodated.”

Mr Ayres said the hospitality sector is a significant employer and lifeblood for many communities, but has been dealt a devastating blow and brought to its knees due to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has hit the hospitality industry hard and fast. We recognise the importance of streamlining the previously complicated legislation to make it easier for industry to get back on their feet as social distancing restrictions ease,” Mr Ayres said.

“There is now clearly a light at the end of the tunnel for our hospitality sector and this will give them hope for the future.”

Key proposals include:

  • A new incentives and sanctions system with ongoing fee discounts for licensed venues that maintain a clear record;
  • Removal of outdated live music restrictions;
  • Allow small bars to offer more family friendly services to customers, by permitting minors in certain circumstances;
  • Reducing red tape by aligning liquor licensing and planning processes; and
  • Enhancing same day alcohol delivery regulations.

Feedback must be submitted by 14 June by visiting https://www.customerservice.nsw.gov.au/consultations/laws-to-help-grow-a-24-houreconomy

A Bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the second half of 2020.

Published 4 May 2020

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