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Following the Callinan review of the Sydney CBD Plan of Management ‘Lockout’ laws, NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced that in line with the review, lockout laws will be relaxed for live entertainment venues in Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross and takeaway and home delivery alcohol sales will be extended from 10pm to 11pm across the State.

As recommended by Mr Callinan, a two-year trial of a later 2am lockout and 3.30am last drinks will be allowed via exemption for venues that offer genuine live entertainment, live performances or art and cultural events.
  • Live entertainment will be carefully defined to include events where one or more entertainers are engaged to perform music (live or pre-recorded) or live performance
    where performers are present.
  • Venues seeking later lockout times will need to run substantial live entertainment including after midnight and demonstrate a genuine focus on art, live performance and cultural events.
  • Other factors that will be considered include music and copyright licensing through APRA AMCOS, tickets for events, involvement in festivals and previous operating history.

From an interview published by the ABC, the Live Music Office’s policy director John Wardle said he had received a lot of support from the music sector following Thursday’s announcement.

“This is a recognition that there have been impacts on jobs and opportunities in venues,” Mr Wardle said. “I think it’s a constructive move in what isn’t an easy policy space — you’ve got strong arguments from either side around this issue. “It’s a win for the live music office.”

While Mr Wardle said he would have ideally liked the lockout to be removed altogether, even if the 3:00am last drinks was retained, the extra half hour would still make a difference to venues. “Venues that previously presented two separate shows, an early show and a late show, were, by the timing of the lockouts restricted further in their presentation,” he said.

Changes to lockouts, take away sales, and small bars can be made by regulation and will commence in January. Changes to three strikes and the liquor license freeze will require the passage of legislation to be presented to Parliament early next year.
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