No new nightclubs will be permitted to open in Sydney until 2017
The war on Australian nightlife continues, with the existing ban on awarding new liquor licenses extended to February 2017. The ban was first instated in February 2014 as part of the infamous ‘lockout laws’ intended to curb street violence. The two-year trial period of the lockout laws expired on February 5, but the government renewed the restrictions for an additional year while the laws are reviewed.
In addition to freezing the proliferation of new liquor licenses, the laws prevent club-goers from entering a new venue after 1:30 am and from buying alcohol past 3 am in designated districts.
“We want … to have certainty and confidence that nothing will change while we conduct this major review,” NSW Deputy Premier and Justice Minister Troy Grant told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Once the review is complete the government will have a firmly stated position about the future of lockouts.”
The lockouts were temporarily lifted for New Year’s Eve, but Premier Mike Bard advised against optimism: the one night relaxation of the laws is “not an indication that we’re relaxing the lockout laws. Quite the opposite…they are here to stay.”