It's the government document that all of Sydney has been waiting for: the independent, evidence-based review into the state’s lockout laws, headed by former High Court judge Ian Callinan AC QC. Earlier this year, we broke down the suggestions submitted to the review, both for and against the laws.
Minutes ago, the government released the entire document to the public.
At 151 pages long, it's a complex, detailed read that incorporates more than 1,800 submissions and almost 30 stakeholder sessions, including three roundtables into Sydney's night-time economy.
In the review, Justice Callinan acknowledges how the lockout zones have changed from being "overcrowded, violent and noisy" to "much safer, quieter and cleaner areas." He goes on to acknowledge this has come at a cost, "which is not quantifiable, but which should not be exaggerated, to employment, live entertainment and the vibrancy of the Precincts."
Importantly, Justice Callinan has not only acknowledged the impact to Sydney's live music scene, but recommended changes in favour of it. In the review's conclusion, Justice Callinan suggests a two-year trial period where opening hours are relaxed specifically for live entertainment venues, which could allow entry until 2am, and serve alcohol until 3.30am.
He also acknowledges that the sale of takeaway alcohol, whether before or after 10pm, makes little or no contribution to violence and anti-social behaviour in the lockout zone, and even less so when it is home delivered. He recommends extended the hours of sale of takeaway alcohol to 11pm, and of home delivered liquor to midnight.
We'll bring more analysis in coming days, but in the meantime, the review can be read in full here.