Labor MP’s push to fast-track Sydney nightlife plan to aid struggling businesses

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NSW Labor is urging the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, to fast-track a plan for Sydney’s after-dark economy as businesses struggle to recover from lockouts and lockdowns.

Labor Shadow Minister for Better Public Services Sophie Cotsis said a roadmap detailing the next steps is crucial.

“Labor has been calling for more to be done in Sydney at night since the election,” Ms Cotsis said.

“Safety must be the priority for patrons and staff. Hospitality businesses are working very hard to ensure they stay open, provide opportunities to staff and of keep their doors open to trade in a safe environment.

“Hospitality businesses have faced months of confusion and chaos because of this Government. As we look to revitalise Sydney, they need certainty and confidence.”

Labor MP’s Sophie Cotsis and John Graham are pushing for a structured plan to aid Sydney’s nightlife.

The Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy, John Graham said: “My fear is this is an old set of answers to an old set of problems. The impact of the lockdown on night time businesses and jobs has swamped the previous impacts of the lockouts.”

Mr Graham said the proposals, which include longer opening hours, more outdoor dining, fewer restrictions on live performances and late night public transport must be rolled out urgently.

“Mr Stokes needs to use his ministerial powers to keep entertainment and hospitality workers in jobs by supporting outdoor dining and performance and later trading. These are the same powers he used to keep truckies in work, delivering to supermarkets – or tradies in the construction business. Now they should be applied to support musicians and hospitality workers,” Mr Graham said.

“This sector needs financial support. These businesses are drowning in the face of an economic tidal wave. There is no fiscal life boat from the Government.”

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