The future of our nightlife, including the potential easing of lockout laws, was on the agenda when NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello visited Newcastle on Wednesday.
Mr Dominello met with Newcastle City Council, Hunter Business Chamber members and the NSW Police Local Area Command to discuss ways to create more entertainment options in Newcastle.
Mr Dominello said recent development in the Newcastle CBD presented a good opportunity to bolster the Newcastle night-time economy post-COVID-19.
“We are taking this opportunity to listen to a range of opinions on how the Government can help support a vibrant and safe night-time economy for Newcastle as businesses recover from COVID-19,” he said..
“The Newcastle CBD has been transformed in recent years with the Honeysuckle redevelopment, a new light rail line and the opening up of the foreshore through the removal of the heavy rail line and this offers great potential for revitalisation of local nightlife.”
He added that Newcastle’s lock-out laws which came into effect in 2008, were also ripe for a review following on from last year’s Parliamentary Joint Select Committee’s report into Sydney’s Night-Time Economy which supported such a review.
“In 2008 the Government of the day imposed a range of licensing restrictions specific to Newcastle in an effort to curb the escalation in alcohol-fueled trouble in the city, which became known as the ‘Newcastle Solution’,” Mr Dominello said.
“Many local residents are rightly proud of what was achieved through the Newcastle Solution but 12 years on, in line with the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee looking at the Night-Time Economy, it is the time to look at a review.
“For example, many of the restrictions remain in force and have been imposed beyond the original 14 hotels onto other venues including small bars. We will need a joint effort by the Government, the council and industry to put in place the right foundations for a thriving and safe night-time economy in Newcastle.”