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Why is the City of Sydney developing a Night Time City Policy?

We want to create a thriving and diverse night time economy to broaden the scope of the city's night time activities.

We want you to have a choice about where you can head out at night – from a street bar with live music, to shopping or an art exhibition. Such activities will provide long-term economic and social benefits, but they need the support of all sections of the community.

As Australia's largest city, Sydney requires a properly planned night time economy that is sustainable for the next 20 years and beyond.

How is the policy being developed?

The policy is being developed with your help. So far we have held –

  • 5 community precinct forums, which were held in May/June for local
  • 2 focus groups with industry innovators and thought leaders
  • Street outreach interviews with the public in 8 locations
  • 1 stakeholder forum with key arts, retail, events, cultural, liquor
    and entertainment stakeholders
  • 1 sector roundtable with key retail, liquor, cultural and
    government leaders

And we have been listening to the comments you have made through our online forum and our online polls on this site and through twitter at SydneyYourSay.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has contributed ideas, suggestions and opinions. We are about to process these alongside a comprehensive examination of current research and give you the results in a Discussion Paper that is due for release in October 2011. As part of phase two of community consultation, we will be asking for your thoughts on this paper.


Which areas are covered by the policy?

We are looking at how the whole city could work better, however we will focus on the city's most popular late night precincts, the CBD, Darling Harbour, Newtown, Glebe, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Kings Cross and Potts Point. The policy will also look at growth in emerging parts of the city.

Does this policy aim to shut the city down at night?

Not at all. The aim of the City of Sydney is to increase the type of night time activities, and encourage more locals and visitors to explore Sydney at night.

Is this policy about restricting operating hours for licensed venues?

No. The Night Time City Policy will be a high-level strategic document that will focus on finding new ideas and approaches to help make the night time city a destination across all demographics and time periods. It will not cover specific issues such as venue operating hours, development applications, or noise restrictions. These issues can be addressed via the resulting planning control changes that could emerge from the final policy.

Will this policy increase noise levels for residents?

Managing noise impacts in late night areas is an important issue. The policy is not expected to increase noise levels for residents, and will look at better ways to manage this problem in the future. The aim of the policy is to identify new ways in which different demographics can be encouraged to use the city at different time periods, especially in the early evening.

How will the policy work with the City of Sydney's Sustainable Sydney 2030 policy?

The policy will sit under Sustainable Sydney 2030, and aligns with many of its directions, including integrated transport for a connected city; a lively, engaging city centre; vibrant local communities and economies; a cultural and creative city; and sustainable development, renewal and design.

How will the policy work with the City of Sydney's Late Night Trading DCP?

The policy will sit above the Late Night Trading DCP, which is the primary planning instrument for the regulation of licensed and late night trading premises.

What impact will this policy have on jobs?

The policy aims to create a stronger, more diverse night time economy for Sydney. This will allow more businesses to open or expand, leading to jobs growth.

What transport initiatives will the policy include?

Creating and expanding transport infrastructure is not within the remit of the City of Sydney. However, all transport providers are being consulted as part of the development of the policy, and it is anticipated that the final policy will influence the development of relevant infrastructure and services throughout the City of Sydney.

What concrete changes will the policy deliver?

As a high-level strategic document, the policy is not designed to deliver specific initiatives. Rather, it will outline a vision for the development of Sydney's night time economy, including aims and guiding principles, as well as identifying priority issues and strategies. This policy will then be the basis on which future planning, governance and infrastructure decisions are made.

What is the timeframe for the development of the policy?

Findings from the research and community engagement program will be presented to Council by mid 2011. We will be asking for your views on this paper.

A draft policy will be presented to Council by late 2011.

The policy will be placed on public exhibition in early 2012, with the resulting feedback informing the final policy.

Once Council has endorsed the final policy, implementation is expected to commence in the last quarter of 2012.

What research will you use to support the policy development?

A number of local and world-renowned experts will do extensive research into key issues such as what the evidence tells us about successful night time economies; statistical visitor analysis; and a cost benefit analysis of Sydney's night time economy.

How can I get involved from now on?

There will be many more opportunities for you to give us feedback as the policy is developed – watch this website for details.