This weekend the lockout laws will be ditched on Oxford Street for Sydney’s 40th Mardi Gras parade.

The state government will let the party kick on until the early hours of Sunday morning on Oxford Street on Saturday March 3.

Liberal councillor for City of Sydney Christine Forster wrote to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian requesting the NSW government relax lockout laws for Mardi Gras, and the government has responded positively. All businesses along Oxford Street will be able to trade for as long as they like on the night.

“Relaxing the lockouts for this important occasion would be a special gesture of goodwill for the LGBTIQ community, many members of which still hold raw memories of the terrible events which surrounded the first Mardi Gras in 1978,” Forster wrote in a post to her Facebook page.

This year’s parade will be the first since same-sex marriage was legalised in December last year.

The government now has the opportunity to see what Sydney looks and feels like without the lockout laws in place. “I think the exemptions announced today could serve as a useful trial, providing evidence as to whether consideration can be given to the relaxation of the 1.30am lockout more broadly,” continued Forster in her post.

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Revellers will be allowed entry into Oxford Street venues past the usual lockout time (1.30am–2am), but venues will have to stop serving alcohol from 3am or 3.30am, depending on their licence..

mardigras.org.au

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