Media Release
Statement on lockouts and the 24 Hour Economy Commissioner
09 February, 2021

Media contact

Matt Levinson

Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney, said:

“This is the end of the combative ‘safety vs fun’ debate for Sydney.

It’s the final piece in a puzzle that lets Sydney declare to the world that it is open once more.

This is timely recognition that Sydney can have a vibrant 24-hour economy without sacrificing people’s safety and wellbeing, and an important step towards rebuilding Sydney’s crucial cultural, night time and visitor economies from the devastation of Covid-19.

This could not come at a better time.

We commend the Premier and her team for their willingness to take bold and appropriate actions to reset Sydney’s nightlife and support the rebuild and recovery of these key sectors, and in doing so to help Sydney live up to its promise.

It’s important to remember the repeal of the lockout laws is just one step among many we need to take to support the recovery of Sydney’s cultural, night-time and visitor economies, which is why it’s significant the 24 Hour Economy Commissioner has been appointed to lead these efforts.

The new Commissioner’s leadership will be critical in coordinating efforts needed to plan our city so it functions more effectively at night, with licensing and regulations that enable rather than strangle enterprise. We will also need to brand the city’s night-time offer better, making more of our major events and unique precincts, to present Sydney as a rival to New York, Berlin or Tel Aviv as one of the great global night-time destinations.”


The Committee for Sydney’s 2018 report, Sydney as a 24-Hour City, brought together the diverse stakeholders on this topic, presenting a sensible way forward with a broad whole-of-government approach to articulate a vision for the night-time economy across Greater Sydney and a governance structure to deliver the vision. From this report, the formation of the Night Time Industries Association was crucial in delivering a better understanding of how a vibrant, yet safe, 24-hour economy was possible.