Sydney clubs can now apply for a lockout law exemption

From today, Sydney clubs will finally be able to apply for an exemption from the city’s lockout laws.

The news follows Mike Baird’s announcement last month that the NSW Government will adopt the recommendations set out in the Callinan review into the lockouts, pushing lockouts times and last drink laws back by 30 minutes for venues that provide “live entertainment”. The statewide curfew on the sale of takeaway alcohol will also be moved from 10pm to 11pm.

Now the wheels of government have finally started to turn, and today is the day that venues are able to apply for that half-hour extension.

Under Baird’s definition, clubs are considered live music venues because they are places “where people are engaged to perform pre-recorded music,” but adult entertainment venues like stripclubs are not. “Eligible venues will have a proven history of supporting the arts and cultural sector,” the Office of Liqour and Gaming says.

Last year community group Keep Sydney Open said a 30-minute reprieve isn’t the change they’ve been fighting for. “Pushing back the lockouts by half an hour will do little to help small businesses, the music scene or reinvigorate our dying inner-city precincts,” they posted. “It’s an unacceptable result that shows how oblivious the Premier is to how cities and culture operate.”

Keep Sydney Open will march on Kings Cross to oppose the changes to the laws this weekend.