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No CBD lockout on New Year's Eve

Monday 28 December 2015        [PDF,269kb]

As occurred last year, the 1.30am lockout on licensed venues across the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts will not apply on New Year’s Eve but the 3am cease alcohol service requirement and other special conditions on venues will remain in place.

It is estimated more than a million people will make their way into the city and surrounds for the celebrations. Relaxing the lockout on New Year’s Eve supports a staggered dispersal of the large post-midnight crowds.

This will help reduce street congestion, pressures on public transport, and potential public safety risks that could otherwise occur if the lockout was in place and more people were trying to disperse after midnight or rushing to get into a licensed venue prior to 1.30am.

By relaxing the lockout people will be able to visit a licensed venue if they wish. This will help reduce the volume of people waiting on station platforms, at bus stops, in taxi queues, and on the streets immediately after 1.30am.

As also occurred last year, the midnight curfew on licensed vessels dropping off passengers in the Sydney CBD precinct will only apply from 3am until 7am on New Year’s Day.

The midnight curfew is impractical on New Year’s Eve

given the large number of vessels on the harbour and restrictions on vessel movements prior to the completion of the midnight fireworks.

Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) Acting Executive Director Samantha Torres said the measures offered a sensible and balanced approach that recognised Sydney as a major New Year’s Eve drawcard for both domestic and international visitors.

"Removal of the lockout on New Year’s Eve only is a one-off annual exception that is in place due to the unique circumstances," Ms Torres said.

"New Year’s Eve is unique because the main event around which celebrations are focused occurs at and after midnight. On no other occasion do we see such high volumes of people concentrated in the CBD precinct seeking access to venues at a time that coincides with the lockout."