The Committee for Sydney has formed a commission tasked with improving the city’s night time economy.
Comprising corporate and public sector players, the commission has been tasked with developing innovative ways to maximise the night time economy, which will involve looking at global best practice and making recommendations suitable to the Sydney context.
It will be co-chaired by the committee’s chair Michael Rose and former Liberal opposition leader, treasurer and health minister Peter Collins.
“Sydney is known for its liveability, cultural appeal and exceptional global brand, but the city has sometimes struggled to maintain and promote a diverse and vibrant night-time economy,” Mr Rose said.
“This Commission brings together some of the brightest and most innovative minds involved in the night-time economy in Sydney to help plot a way forward.”
Members include Airbnb, the Australian Hotels Association, Create NSW, Parramatta Council, the City of Sydney, Coca-Cola, Haymarket Chamber of Commerce, Lendlease, the Live Music Office, Mastercard, NSW Police, Scentre Group, Sydney Living Museums, Sydney Theatre Company, Transport for NSW, Western Sydney Business Chamber and Uber.
Notably absent amongst the big-name corporates and government agencies is community-led organisation Keep Sydney Open, which has been the most prominent face of opposition to the government’s controversial lock out laws. Many argue these laws have put a dent in the night time economy and have led to the closure of many businesses.
Committee for Sydney director of advocacy James Hulme told The Fifth Estate the membership of the commission reflected the membership of the Committee for Sydney.
He said no one was deliberately excluded, however there were “practicalities” that meant not everyone could be included on the steering committee.
Mr Hulme said the Committee for Sydney had been in contact with Keep Sydney Open and the commission would be consulting with it and other groups. There will also be opportunity for stakeholder feedback to proposed solutions.
The Committee has not revealed a formal position on the lock out laws, though has in the past argued for a broadening of night time activities as a way to stimulate the economy.
Mr Hulme said the night time economy was a bigger issue than lust the lock out laws, though licensing practice in global cities would be one area investigated.
Mr Collins said the Commission would help to create “a better dialogue between public and private sectors” to help make Sydney’s night time offering more appealing.
“It’s a great honour to hair such an important group and I’m looking forward to helping to make our great city even better at night”.
Recommendations are expected to be released in Spring 2017.