By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
A lobby of roughly 20 Sydney hoteliers and other stakeholders has formed the City Safe proposal – a strategy that will see manifestly compliant venues push for exemptions to lockout legislation.
The City Safe concept puts forth a two-pronged strategy to the New South Wales Government: firstly, that CBD and Kings Cross venues that can prove that they are compliant and implementing best practice policies through electronic incident registers will be exempted from the lockouts and return to their previous licensed trading hours.
Exemptions have already been catered for in legislation – both the CBD and Kings Cross Precinct regulations have made provision for exemptions. The half-hour extension for live music venues, as implemented after the Callinan Review recommendation, uses these very provisions. The City Safe proposal would not need legislation to change, just government policy.
The second facet of the City Safe proposal is to turn these exempted venues into ‘Sydney Safe Venues’. This program would work similarly to the Neighbourhood Watch programs prevalent in the 1990s. In essence, a Sydney Safe Venue, would have a sticker on their façade announcing themselves as such, and would provide shelter to anyone feeling vulnerable on the street. The venue would provide refuge while you wait for transport, will call an ambulance or police if necessary, and provide basic first aid and water.
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This story first appeared in The Shout.