Ridiculous Kings Cross lockout laws are finally dumped SIX YEARS after media and police union hysteria campaign saw them introduced – but it’s too late for most of Sydney’s once thriving nightlife
- Sydney’s controversial lockout laws will be scrapped from the Kings Cross area
- From March 8 alcohol can be served to patrons in Kings Cross until 3.30am
- Decision comes in a bid to revive the area’s night-time economy after pandemic
The last of Sydney’s controversial lockout laws, introduced six years ago on the back of newspaper and television hysteria campaign over alcohol-fuelled violence, will be scrapped from Kings Cross next month.
The decision comes into effect from March 8 as part of a NSW government bid to revive the area’s night-time economy, which was hit hard by the pandemic.
The laws shutting down drinks venues from 1.30am were removed from venues in Sydney’s CBD in January last year but had remained in Kings Cross.
From March 8 alcohol can be served in the Cross until 3.30am – giving patrons an extra two hours of drinking and entertainment time.
Sydney’s controversial lockout laws will be scrapped from Kings Cross (pictured) next month after being introduced six years ago in a bid to stop alcohol-fuelled violence
From March 8 laws shutting down drink venues from 1.30am will be removed and alcohol can be served until 3:30am to patrons. Pictured: Deserted streets in Kings Cross
Restrictions on particular drinks, shots, cut-price cocktails and glass tumblers after midnight will also go, as will the requirement for responsible service of alcohol marshalls and CCTV surveillance.
The laws were introduced in 2014 after the death of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly who was killed in a one-punch attack as he walked along a Kings Cross street.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the changes would boost jobs and revitalise the once-infamous Kings Cross precinct.
‘Kings Cross has transformed considerably since these laws were introduced over six years ago,’ she told The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.
‘The precinct is now well-positioned to continue to evolve into a vibrant lifestyle and cultural destination with a diverse mix of small bars, live music venues and restaurants.’
The laws were introduced in 2014 after the death of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly who was killed in a one-punch attack as he walked along a Kings Cross street. Pictured: Sydney protest rally against the laws
After reviewing the lockout laws in 2019, the NSW parliamentary committee found that the state could be foregoing $16 billion in economic activity as a result.
Independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich, whose electorate includes Kings Cross, welcomed the change.
‘Harmonising the licensing conditions with the rest of the Sydney CBD and Oxford Street is long overdue and will bring hope to businesses who have been doing it tough,’ he said in a statement.
‘Global cities don’t tell people when to go to sleep, they help them have a fun and safe night.’
Much had changed since 2014 when the lockouts were first introduced, he added.
‘The 24-hour beer barns are gone, and a more sophisticated dining, small bar, and entertainment offering is ready to thrive,’ he said.
‘Kings Cross is well-placed to have a safe and vibrant future.’
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the changes would boost jobs and revitalise the once-infamous Kings Cross precinct. Pictured: inside a Cross nightclub
Timeline of past events
July 9 2012: Fatal one punch attack on teenager Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross
January 12 2014: Daniel Christie killed in an another one punch attack in Kings Cross while celebrating New Years Eve
January 2014: Newspapers and television began launching multiple campaigns to introduce lockouts in Sydney after a string of alcohol fueled deaths. Pressure grows for Premier Barry O’Farrell.
January 2014: Barry O’Farrell government caves into the media and introduces lockout laws
February 2014: Lockout laws were first introduced to Sydney which denied entry to people after 1.30am. 176 licensed venues Sydney CBD closed their doors
2015-2016: People marched in protest of the lockout laws
September 2016: Ian Callinan, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, reviewed laws
December 2016: NSW Government said it would relax the laws due to businesses seeing patronage fall
October 2018: Lord Mayor Clover Moore supported reversing the lockouts while rumours circled that NSW government would relax laws soon
January 2020: Sydneysiders could enter CBD venues after 1.30am and order drinks until 3.30am
March 2020: Alcohol can be served in Kings Cross until 3.30am
Whats happening now?
From March 8 people can drink till 3:30am allowing them two extra hours in establishments
Restrictions on particular drinks, shots, cut-price cocktails and glass tumblers after midnight will also go