Sydney Night Time Economy Inquiry 2019

Joint Select Committee on Sydney's Night Time Economy

Read Full Submission here - Darlinghurst Business Partnership

(a) maintain and enhance community safety;
(b) maintain and enhance individual and community health outcomes;
(c) ensure existing regulatory arrangements in relation to individuals, businesses and other
stakeholders, including Sydney's lockout laws, remain appropriately balanced;
(d) enhance Sydney’s night time economy;
and any other directly relevant matters.


The Sydney Entertainment Preciont Plan of Management has, directly and indirectly, been the greatest source of negative impact to our
business community in the past five years, through loss of trade, customers, employment, and business closures. This has been felt the most in our nighttime economy [NTE], but also had serious impacts on the daytime economy.

In 2015, eighteen months after the implementation of these laws, and on behalf of our members, we valued this impact as $34 million in economic value removed from the area. Perhaps even more tragic is the erosion of the world-renowned creative culture and vibrant
nightlife for which the area is famous.

Darlinghurst is a geographically, culturally, and demographically distinct precinct from both the CBD and Kings Cross; it should never have been included in the original 'lock out laws' scope, or at the very least, been recognised as the distinct area it is.

The DBP has always explicitly acknowledged the economic and cultural value of Darlinghurst’s NTE to Sydney and NSW. We have worked with policy to advance this approach by advocating for “Agent of Change” principles to be legislated into ‘Culture, Entertainment & Innovation’ LEPs.

It is unfortunate that, in recent years, the State Government has so actively been working against our efforts instigating a very localised recession featuring high numbers of job losses, business closures, vacancies, and depressed commercial confidence across the 24-hour

We continue to look to the State Government to change its current hard-line regulatory approach, and instead support our 24-hour strategy framework aligning Darlinghurst’s strengths and identity to ‘OPEN Sydney’, the City of Sydney’s vision for the long-term
development of Sydney’s NTE, and their broader Economic Development Strategy.

Darlinghurst’s unique cultural and creative contributions pre-lockouts, to Sydney’s local and international reputation, were inimitable and we seek support in restoring them. |

Read Full Submission Here - Darlinghurst Business Partnership


  • Explicitly acknowledge the economic and cultural value of Sydney’s NTE

  • Clearly define and identify Sydney’s Entertainment Precincts

  • Move from a policing model, to a management model

  • Have standardised legislation/regulation across all precincts

  • Develop a proactive, whole-of government strategy
    • One that rewards good behaviour while punishing bad
    • One that targets the small minority of violent offenders without punishing the
      vast majority of responsible tax-payers wishing to enjoy a safe night out

  • Review police powers (see Appendix 1)
  • Change the way that properties are valued to incentive landlords to fill vacant

  • Change the way that commercial real estate agents are remunerated by removing or
    reducing the up-front fees they can change.
    • An increasing monthly percentage of the rent could be one way to incentive
      them to find businesses that are both suitable and sustainable in the area.

  • Recognise High Streets as vital cultural infrastructure and ensure that a minimum
    percentage of business rates are invested back into economic development,
    specifically, the management of High Street areas.

  • Recognise that the day and nighttime economies are intrinsically linked and craft
    policy that explicitly acknowledges and works to this.

  • Allow families to socialise 16-18 year-olds into sensible drinking habits by lowering the
    drinking age, for low-alcohol drinks such as beer, wine and cider, to 16 in the
    immediate company of a parent or guardian, in the family home.