Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore, has proposed dropping the city’s controversial lockout laws.
In a submission to the NSW Government's review of liquor laws, Moore advocated loosening the city's licensing restrictions.
Under current legislation, businesses in Kings Cross and the city centre are required to bar entry to newcomers from 1.30am.
Moore has called for “well-managed premises” to be exempted from the 1.30am cutoff time for admission and also asked the government to reconsider its 3am last drinks rule.
“It was a sledgehammer when what we needed was a well-researched, evidence based, flexible response using transport, planning, licensing and police," Moore said in a statement.
“There is no doubt the lockout law made some areas, especially Kings Cross, safer and returned normalcy to residents and that must not change.
“But the lockout law has hurt Sydney’s cultural life and had negative impacts on businesses, including live music venues, small bars and restaurants, and many people have lost their jobs.”
Among the mayor’s other recommendations are replacing the existing liquor license freeze with a ‘saturation zone’ that would take into consideration the number of licensed premises in a given area, along with relevant crime data and transport options.
However, Moore continued to back a ban on the sale of alcohol from shops after 10pm.
The submission also asks the NSW government to scrap the lockout laws entirely if the rest of its recommendations are implemented.
The first of three roundtable consultations to be held as part of the Government’s independent review opened last week. Former high court justice Ian Callinan will is expected to deliver his report in August.
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