City of Sydney approves 24-hours trading plans

Businesses in central Sydney will be able to trade for 24 hours from June, subject to relevant NSW ‘lock out’ legislation, after new planning controls were adopted by City of Sydney Council.

The new 24-hour trading area encompasses Darling Harbour in the west to Hyde Park in the east, south to Central Station, while businesses in areas such as Surry Hills, Redfern and Glebe can now extend trading to 2am from midnight.

The changes, which Council approved on 13 May, follow consultations with about 10,000 people in 2018 who said the lock out laws had crimped trading in central Sydney and stifled nightlife.

Other changes include a new 24-hour arts and cultural precinct in north Alexandria, and extended hours for unlicensed shops such as book stores and clothing shops, and businesses including gyms and hairdressers.

“The changes will help create more diverse night-time options for the 1.6 million people that live, work, visit and do business in Sydney every day,” the Council said.

“We hope they’ll set the foundations for Sydney to become one of the world’s best 24-hour cities.”

Businesses from 19 June will be able to apply for new trading hours via a development application and indicate how they will manage noise which could affect surrounding neighbours.

Speaking before the changes were approved, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Council was acting after holding its first review in more than a decade of the planning controls which cover where and when night-time activity can take place.

“The changes we proposed in response to this feedback strike a balance between supporting well-managed venues to continue to trade and thrive, and managing any impacts they may have on local neighbourhoods,” she said.

“After taking our draft plan back to the community for more than two months of public consultation, 85 per cent of submissions received supported the new controls and their economic, cultural and social benefits.

“In their submissions, more than 900 people told us the changes would help revitalise and diversify Sydney’s nightlife, improve our standing as a global city, support local businesses, provide more opportunities for shift workers and visitors, or encourage a safe night-time environment.”

A spokesman for NSW Customer Services Minister, Victor Dominello, was quoted by SBS News as saying it was often the City of Sydney’s “own restrictions rather than lockout laws that stop venues from trading later at night”.

NSW Business Chamber’s Chris Lamont said the changes would be a positive step toward revitalising Sydney’s night-time economy.