In a Bout of Leniency, Sydney's Lock Out Laws Will Relax By 30 Minutes
Sydney has been on its best behavior lately, and because of this New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has decided to relax Sydney's Lockout Laws by a whole 30 minutes.
The lockout laws which first went into effect in February 2014 have set strict restrictions on Sydney's Central Business District and nightlife economy. The Oz culture capital and global city has seen a decline in the city's arts and nightlife venues since the lockout laws were enacted. Anti-lockout movements like Keep Sydney Open have been vocal in their criticism of the lockouts, even organizing large scale public demonstrations to protest the government's initiative to clean up the city streets.
(Public sign detailing the laws as they read currently)
Currently, as the law stands Sydney bars and venues in the CBD may not accept new patrons after 1:30am, and may not sell drinks beyond 3am. There are also limitations on the type of alcohol that can be sold during these times; liquors cannot be sold"neat" and must be purchased as a mixed drink. Under the new legislations, laws would be extended to reflect the new 2am and 3:30am mandates, respectively. The new changes will go into effect starting in January.
ABC reports that, Premier Mike Baird says that the restrictions have helped to reduce crime and violence in the fast-growing city:
"They have proven to be effective. If you look at the statistics, they show there's been a 40 per cent reduction in violence in Kings Cross, 20 per cent across the CBD and there's no doubt they have been saving lives."
Baird continues to say that a continued decrease in crime and violence under these newly relaxed restrictions could open up a conversation to further liberalize the lockout laws.
Earlier this month, Aussie superstar Flume shared his thoughts on the Sydney Lockout Laws during his acceptance speech at the ARIA Awards, for which he received Best Independent Release and Best Pop Release.
Cover photo courtesy of Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images.