After five years of transformation in our precinct we welcome a serious review into the current status of the lock-out laws which must prioritise business flourishing and respect resident amenity. The Potts Point Partnership also calls on the Berejiklian State Government to immediately remove ID scanners that are inhibiting all types of businesses with alcohol licenses in Potts Point.
Potts Point and Kings Cross has undergone a rapid transformation to businesses in the 2011 precinct. We accept the changes the laws brought under action from former Premier Barry O’Farrell. We accept that the laws have improved safety in our area. We also agree that now is the best time to find the right balance between the expectations of residents and businesses in our transformed precinct. Potts Point is now a destination to experience with food, culture, entertainment and fun.
We cannot underestimate how much lock-outs impacted tourism to our precinct. Now more than ever in the colder and quieter months of winter, businesses struggle. The Potts Point Partnership is always looking for inventive and supportive mechanisms to enhance our community-business offering. This Friday night will see a return to night time trading where our Macleay Street retail businesses will open until 8pm.
First and foremost, we seek an immediate removal of all ID scanners in the Kings Cross zone. ID scanners are no longer relevant given the changed trading environment which has developed since the lock-outs were introduced.
There are now examples of mixed restaurant and bar venues in Bayswater and Darlinghurst Roads that cannot serve food without an ID scanner at their entrance from 9pm. Food not alcohol is their primary source of revenue. Local residents and domestic and international tourists can no longer leave the house without their ID and potential customers who are unaware of the necessity of identification are turned away, resulting in a significant loss of trade. Particularly because these customers can go to a smaller wine bar next door where there is no need for ID scanners. This creates a serious and unfair playing field amongst businesses.
A review into lock-outs brings us closer to a resolution. A review should unshackle the myth that the precinct is a ghost town after dark. It’s not. Our big restaurants and experiential businesses are thriving, but our smaller businesses are struggling.
We need the State Government to make amenable changes to lockouts:
· Strike the right balance that can help night-time economy businesses thrive again
· Relaxing of lock-out laws to 3am for patronage over 200, for the next 3 years
· Removal of bans on purchasing spirits, such as a neat whiskey after midnight
· A stringent process continued for issuing liquor licenses to venues that cater for over 200
· A bi-partisan agreement with the City of Sydney to find a ‘Good Neighbour’ policy to reduce vexatious noise complaints
· An injection of tourism funding through grants and Destination NSW that sees Sydney as a global city and night time destination
Potts Point and Kings Cross are cylinders that drive the state’s night time and day time food, hospitality and tourism economies, we’re one of the outside world’s first choice for restaurants, bars and experiences when visiting Sydney.
Potts Point Partnership