Small Bars

Small Bars

(Question Without Notice, 11 August 2016, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

My question is to the Deputy Premier. How will the Government respond to the growing support for small bars as a way to help the vibrancy of Sydney's night life?

Response from Deputy Premier:

I thank the excellent member for Sydney for a genuine question without notice. I recently alluded to the fact that the member for Sydney is doing an outstanding job representing the Sydney electorate. It is a global city and he represents the most significant part of our global city. It is a dynamic world city and therefore it should offer visitors and locals alike a range of opportunities for not only work and rest but also play.

The Government is currently undertaking the Callinan review, which is looking at the legislation that was introduced by this Government in its last term, a range of measures concerning alcohol-related crime and the operation of licensed premises. It is an extensive review that is due to report to this Government very soon. This global city has a suite of offerings of which small bars are an important component. The small bars legislation is a separate body of legislation that is subject to its own statutory review, which is underway at the moment.

Across Australia the average patronage for small bars is approximately 120. In New South Wales it is only 60. There is potential and scope for the statutory review to look at the imbalance between the national average and Sydney. Fundamentally, small bars operate differently to other licensed premises. They contribute significantly to the atmosphere and social engagement of many cities across the world. The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events will know that small bars are not only a good contributor to the local economy but also they add to the atmosphere of local communities. All those contributions and opportunities will be considered in the statutory review.

The roundtables that were convened in addition to the Callinan review offered a number of opportunities about the night life in Sydney. Small bars can play a part in complementing those recommendations that are now before the Government and being considered by Mr Callinan. I thank the member for Sydney for understanding his electorate and for raising an issue where there is an opportunity for Government to examine greater opportunities for the small bar sector, which will add to the broader vibrancy of our global city. I congratulate him on his overall work. He is one of the more decent members of this place. Many Opposition members could learn a lesson or two from him about their conduct and demeanour.


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