NSW Govt unveils 24-hour economy plan

Oxford St, Sydney. File photo.

The state government has unveiled plans to reinvigorate Sydney’s nighttime economy, in the wake of serious impacts caused by the government’s own disastrous lockout laws and Covid-19.

The NSW Government’s 24-Hour Economy Strategy was unveiled today by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, who said the plan would make Sydney “the best place to live and work” and set NSW up for a dynamic post-Covid economic recovery.

“There is no denying Sydney is one of the best cities in the world, but we need to continue to do everything we can to ensure the jewel in our crown continues to shine both day and night,” Perrottet said.
“This strategy aims to drive investment, create jobs and attract more businesses to the CBD and surrounding suburbs, laying the ground-work for our state’s economic recovery so we can keep more businesses in business and people in jobs.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the strategy was industry-led and would grow and support jobs in hospitality, tourism, retail and the arts.

“Sydneysiders deserve a global city that’s thriving 24-hours a day, and the world wants a 24-hour Sydney,” he said.

“Covid-19 has hit the tourism, hospitality and the arts sectors hard. This strategy sets out a pathway to activate home-grown events that create safe opportunities for people to enjoy across Greater Sydney.”

The government will appoint a 24-hour ‘Coordinator General’ to oversee the plan, which will be phased in over several years.

Flagged initiatives include more late-night public transport, incentives for businesses to stay open late, and nurturing industry in the 2am to 9am time slot.

While the statement referred to the impact of Covid-19 numerous times, it studiously avoided mention of the government’s much-maligned lockout laws, which numerous business groups contend have decimated Sydney’s nighttime economy.

The lockout laws, introduced in 2014, ostensibly to curb alcohol-related violence, were lifted from the CBD and Oxford Street precincts in January this year but remain in Kings Cross.

More information on the 24-hour Economy Strategy can be read on the state government’s NSW Global website.