Sydney to go 24 hours!

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Sydney’s night economy has been given a much needed shot in the arm this week after City of Sydney Council approved the DCP (development control plan) introducing some of the biggest changes to city planning in a decade, envisioned to recuperate Sydney’s nightlife.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore declared Sydney is now open for business “It’s time for Sydney to become a 24-hour city and we’ve now given businesses the opportunity to open around the clock”

This hot topic attracted a public consultation of over 10,000 people, wanting businesses, shops and hospitality venues across Sydney to stay open for later and create a diverse night-time economy with a variety of activities and events for people of all ages. The changes will allow businesses in the CBD to apply to trade up to 24 hours a day from next month, whilst other businesses will be able to apply for extended hours and outdoor events will be similarly incentivised.


Controversially the DCP does not address the lockout laws, which remain under heavy criticism by how they have had such a blanket negative effect across swathes of businesses, resulting in hundreds of venues across the city to cease trade, and causing the general public to avoid the lockout zones altogether. There is hope though that this week’s approval is a stepping stone towards a positive change, of the draconian lockout legislation, in

the near future.


So what does the DCP allow for:

  • Businesses in the city centre can apply for a 24-hour trading licence.

  • Businesses in residential areas of the periphery can apply for extended trading hours.

  • Shops, businesses and low-impact hospitality venues on major high streets will be able to trade until 2am.

  • Small bars and restaurants along Crown Street (Surry Hills), Union Street (Pyrmont), Glebe Point Road (Glebe) and Redfern Street (Redfern) for example will be eligible to extend trading hours until 2am.

  • The provision for new late-night trading areas in high growth city neighbourhoods, such as Barangaroo and Green Square.

  • The provision for a new cultural precinct in part of Alexandria’s industrial precinct.

  • The introduction of an incentive system for venues to program live entertainment, performance and creative events whereby a bonus hour of trading can be awarded.

City of Sydney Councillor Jess Scully said “It's setting Sydney's night-life up for the future, and for how we live now." and that the changes will unlock the potential of Sydney’s nightlife through “a plan that sets the foundation for the next 10 years”.

Businesses who want to take advantage of the late night trading zones will be able to apply for extended hours through City of Sydney council from June through the standard process via a development application, this will of course include the standard provisions of a public consultation as well as a trial period to ensure that the provisions are conducted responsibly.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore avowed “The City of Sydney is doing its part,” and asserted “I hope these changes encourage the NSW Government to reconsider the lockout laws and help Sydney regain its status as one of the world’s premier late night destinations.”
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