In the two years since Sydney's controversial lockout laws were shoved down the throat of Australia's largest city, the Keep Sydney Open campaign has been an unabating opposing voice.
Generally seen as a badly-thought out, knee-jerk reaction to the issue of alcohol-fueled violence in the city, the lockout laws have done little more than suffocate Sydney's hospitality and nightlife communities. The City of Sydney reported late last year that the lockout laws had meant an 80% decrease in foot traffic—which might explain the decrease in violent behavior, because less people means less things happening in general, you feel?. It also means the loss of 500 jobs and more than 15 venues, including institutions like Goodgod and Hugo's.
Now, after securing the 10,000 signatures needed to take a legislation to parliament for debate, Keep Sydney Open has won the opportunity to have the issue discussed in full view of the government, the opposition and the public. M.P. Jenny Leong will speak on behalf of Keep Sydney Open and those opposed to the laws, putting forth the criticisms—namely, that "a vibrant nightlife and safe streets are not mutually exclusive"—as well as their alternative solutions.
"The biggest value [in tomorrow] is just having the debate," campaign manager Tyson Koh told THUMP via phone today. "Pushing this issue into parliament forces all sides to think about how this affects everyone, which they haven't been doing."
Keep Sydney Open are encouraging residents encouraged to join the debate in parliament at 4pm, and a debrief in Martin Place afterwards. Check out more details and RSVP here.