Night-time Economy campaign

Nightclub crowd at midnight
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Monacoporter)

In 2004 Sydney City Council and the NSW Government decided to permit 24 hour trading permitted in an entertainment precinct in the Kings Cross area. This was against the wishes of most residents.

Soon Council began approving DAs for large numbers of pubs, clubs, bars and other alcohol-vending businesses. Soon the alcohol-fueled street fights began. Council also talked up the necessity for “live music” in such business, though this was really pre-recorded music played by DJs. The entertainment strip, formerly mainly in Darlinghurst Road, spread up Bayswater Road.

Council continues to advocate a 24 hour night time economy, largely featuring alcohol- and live music-related businesses, against the wishes and interests of ordinary residents who live in Kings Cross/Potts Point and get a good night’s rest in preparation to be fresh for work the next day.

The Association supports a well run and safe night-time economy that respects residents’ safety and amenity. We are happy to live in an area growing with cafes and small bars but not in one which is returning to the situation of the pre-lockout days. We understand that businesses in both the daytime and night-time economy have been badly affected by COVID but we look beyond the crisis.

Submissions from the 2011 Residents Association

17 January 2014 Submission re 2013 Live Music and Performance Action Plan

12 February 2014 Letter to Wentworth Courier re Sydney Council’s DA-induced violent late night economy

1 July 2019 Submission to 2019 Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s Night-Time Economy

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‘Night time economy’ is a term often used by the City of Sydney (COS) as a euphemism for ‘extended hours trading’.

Research commissioned by the COS has shown that alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour in the 2011 postcode create a significant negative impact on  locals and visitors alike, as well as a serious drain on emergency services such as police, hospital and ambulance workers.

Despite these findings,  the COS is still strongly promoting an alcohol-based night time economy,  with Kings Cross treated as an entertainment precinct despite it being one of the most densely resident populated areas in Australia. The Council is  actively encouraging more bars, extended licensing hours and approving new DAs without addressing the consequences of the current level of saturation in the area.

Some key facts:

  • Kings Cross has the highest number of antisocial behaviour events in (the study areas of) Sydney
  • Kings Cross has in excess of 20,000 people in the street in the period between 1am – 2am on weekend nights

Summary of research:
COS Late night management area research summary 2011

Detail of research:
COS Late night trading management area research report 2011

The City of Sydney Council’s rationale for pushing the late night economy:
COS Late night economy webpage

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