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NSW GOVERNMENT REFORMS BRING LATE-NIGHT ECONOMY BACK TO LIFE

Oxford Street, Darlinghurst Sydney - 15th June 2018. Ariel Bookstore have received a Night Time Diversification Grant. (Model release: ER20180614-Night Time Diversification -00524.pdf)
Written by Aksel Ritenis

NSW GOVERNMENT REFORMS BRING LATE-NIGHT ECONOMY BACK TO LIFE

The State’s night-time economy is thriving, with close to 200 live performance venues able to play later and for longer since the NSW Government’s 24-Hour Economy reforms commenced two years ago.

Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said while it has been a challenging two years for artists and venues, it’s great they are now taking advantage of these initiatives and contributing to the growing night-time economy.

“Some of the changes include fast-tracking approvals by removing red tape, trialling the State’s first special entertainment precinct and extending initiatives like alfresco dining – these reforms have marked a significant turning point to our late night offerings.”

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Alister Henskens said the 24-hour economy is an integral part of the commercial, cultural and social fabric of NSW.

“The reforms have reignited social connection and economic activity across the State, and supported the jobs of thousands of people who work in industries including hospitality, sport, arts and culture, and tourism,” Mr Henskens said.

24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues said the reforms have changed the game, helping night-time industries build a vibrant, safe and sustainable offering.

“It is fantastic to see so many festivals, venues and artists taking advantage of the reforms which are supporting a resurgence of live performances across our State,” Mr Rodrigues said.

Key reform achievements include:

  • Close to 200 live performance venues in 50 LGAs across NSW being offered a 60-minute trading extension to keep their lights on for longer.
  • Reducing annual fees by 80 per cent until 31 December 2024 for venues which  offer live performances. This initiative has so far saved the industry over $500,000.
  • The State’s first Special Entertainment Precinct on Enmore Road Enmore, which is supporting venues offering live entertainment to stay open later, support live music and cultural performances.
  • A one-stop-shop Hospitality Concierge service dedicated to help businesses navigate planning approvals and liquor licensing applications.
  • Lifting the maximum patron capacity for small bars from 100 to 120 and enabling small bars to provide more diverse and family-oriented services.
  • Making it easier for eligible small bars to start trading as soon as they lodge their liquor licence application online.

Case studies:

Emily Collins, Managing Director of Music NSW said:

“Over the past year we have seen a raft of new live performance venues spring up across NSW, in part thanks to the reforms set out in the 24-Hour Economy Act. The removal of red tape and incentives to put on live music have given a boost to the sector as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Mick Gibb, CEO, Night-Time Industries Association said:

“After years of hard work by dedicated advocates, including the Night-Time Industries Association, the passage of the 24-Hour Economy Act with bi-partisan support marked a leap forward for operators in night-time industries. With the groundwork laid, industry and government must continue working together to build upon this foundation to make NSW a thriving hub of night-time activity.”

Mark Gerber, Owner of the Oxford Arts Factory and curator at The Lansdowne said:

“Live music is back better than ever! It’s great to see bands touring, crowds back and venues full again. As we head into our busiest summer in years, the outlook for Sydney’s music scene is bright.”

Nathan Stratton, Owner-Manager of La La La’s in Wollongong said:

“The Government’s assistance through the last two years has been pivotal for the popular bar’s success.

“On the back of the drastic social and economic changes, many things, like outdoor dining, went from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘necessary to grow’. Making these things accessible meant we could keep our doors open and become an active part in revitalising Wollongong.

“When we talk about our success, it would be that with the support of many government initiatives, we are still here, going strong to serve our community.”

Jimmy Cox, Co-owner of the Tinshed Brewery in Dungog said:

“The changes in the reforms have been beneficial to the business over the past few years.

“The changes made it much easier for live entertainment being accessible in our small country town. Our licensed floor space increased, allowing us to employ more local artist to play at our brewery.

“We are thankful that the NSW Government has been proactive to make a difference in helping businesses thrive.”

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Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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