Singer with guitar performing

ClubsNSW has welcomed the parliamentary approval of the 24-Hour Economy Legislation Amendment (Vibrancy Reforms) Bill 2023, which is set to provide night-time economy operators an improved regulatory landscape.

The Bill was announced by the NSW Government in late October with the aim of boosting night-time entertainment zones and live music. Following the passage of the Bill through both houses of NSW Parliament, it will now be sent to the Governor for assent.

The Vibrancy Reforms begin to address an array of hurdles faced by the industry while building upon the NSW Liquor Amendment (Night-time Economy) Act 2020. The reforms include:

  1. Establishing Liquor and Gaming NSW as the sole regulator of entertainment sound-related complaints for licensed premises, streamlining the complaints process from its current duplicated and multiple agency approach.
  2. Expanding the success of the Enmore Road Special Entertainment Precinct to other areas, making it easier for councils to deliver vibrant and safe going out destinations, supported by improved transport and lighting.
  3. Permanently replacing the rules for outdoor dining, allowing venues to utilise outdoor space with a quicker application process.
  4. Empowering the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner to develop a plan to make NSW a better place to work for those who work outside of nine to five hours.
  5. Adopting a common sense approach to liquor regulation, removing outdated rules, and working towards streamlined planning and licensing processes. Improvement of the consultation process allowing venues to open and diversify easily, welcome community feedback, and provide meaningful incentives for venues to feature live music and performances.
  6. Empowering the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner to deliver a sustainable, thriving night-time economy by making the role a statutory appointment.

According to the Economic and Social Impact of Clubs in NSW report produced by Urbis earlier this year, clubs host more than 10,000 free entertainment events every year, benefiting the NSW economy to the tune of $167m.

ClubsNSW CEO Rebecca Riant said the club industry is passionate about supporting local artists and hosting live music and other entertainment for the benefit of their communities, and that the announced reforms will remove some of the barriers clubs often face when doing so.

“From Dunedoo Sports Club’s annual Tunes on the Turf music festival to the bowling green that Leichhardt Bowling Club has transformed into an outdoor dining and entertainment space, our industry is always looking for new ways to support local artists and businesses, and keep their communities vibrant and engaged,” said Riant.

“We thank the NSW Government for including ClubsNSW in the consultation process for these reforms and for reducing some of the red tape for clubs when it comes to trading and hosting live entertainment. The changes announced today will make a huge difference for clubs looking to diversify their offerings and we look forward to working with the government more closely for the betterment of our industry and the broader community.”

Night Time Industries Association CEO Mick Gibb says the reforms mark a new chapter for the night time industries in NSW.

“Industry is delighted to see the willingness of the Government to tackle the regulatory red tape head on and the bi-partisan support to make a revitalised night time economy a reality.

“These reforms address many of the challenges that indsutry has been calling out for years. Scrapping duplicative licensing processes and repairing unbalanced sound and noise regulation is welcomed by industry.

“It’s not overstating it to call these reforms a game changer for nightlife in NSW. These are milestone reforms that finetune what we had already and fundamentally repair some of the broken aspects of regulation of the night.

“Making the Office of the 24 Hour Economy Commissioner a statutory appointment is just the kind of certainty industry and investors need to invest in the growth of the night time economy. By making it a staturory appointment industry can have greater confidence that lockout laws and draconian regulatory responses will be a thing of the past.

“When you give industries and investor markets certainty and remove the red tape handbrake you see investment and you see growth. This is exactly what is needed to see the 24 hour economy thrive in NSW.”

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