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NSW Government releases new plan to reinvigorate Sydney’s 24-hour economy

NSW Government releases new plan to reinvigorate Sydney’s 24-hour economy
September 14, 2020

The NSW Government has today released its 24-Hour City Strategy aimed at reinvigorating Sydney's night time economy in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions having severely impacted local hospitality.

The Government’s strategy will focus on grants for live music, trial new licensing options for microbreweries, reduce red tape for businesses, and extend opening hours for low impact retail businesses.

A key feature of the NSW Government’s Strategy is the neon grid, a concept proposed by Ethos Urban as part of the Committee for Sydney’s report, which includes a series of identified entertainment precincts across the city that are connected by an efficient and accessible late-night transportation system.

NSW's Treasurer Dominic Perrottet advised that the new plan simultaneously reinvigorates Sydney's nightlife as well as supporting jobs in the wake of COVID-19 adding "this strategy aims to drive investment, create jobs and attract more businesses to the CBD and surrounding suburbs, laying the ground-work for our State's economic recovery so we can keep more businesses in business and people in jobs."

NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said the government had identified that many Sydneysiders no longer worked the traditional 9am-5pm hours noting "when we started planning this strategy our goal was to take advantage of the $16 billion economic uplift from realising the potential of non-traditional work hours. Now, with the job losses resulting from the pandemic, that goal is more important than ever.

"Sydneysiders deserve a global city that's thriving 24-hours a day, and the world wants a 24-hour Sydney.

Ethos Urban has welcomed today’s release of the NSW Government’s 24-Hour City Strategy with Ethos Urban Engagement Associate Director Nina Macken stating this is a vital step towards stimulating economic recovery, while reinvigorating Sydney’s nighttime economy and keeping safety paramount.

Macken notes “we know that a large portion of CBD workers are currently working from home and plan to continue this trend to a lesser degree post pandemic. Now is the time to think differently about how we can activate the CBD through a series of robust strategies that improves connectivity, transportation, diversity of options, safety and activation of various well-planned sites across the city.

“We were pleased to be part of the Committee for Sydney’s Nighttime Economy Commission, which enabled us to table our strategies and contribute to their report, Sydney as a 24-Hour City in 2017.”

Committee for Sydney Director of Advocacy, James Hulme added “Ethos Urban were a key part of our Nightime Economy Commission and contributed some excellent ideas, including the concept of the neon grid. We are delighted that the idea has been endorsed in the 24-hour Economy Strategy.

“The grid will help Sydney’s nightime sector rebuild following the COVID-19 pandemic, Great cities need great ideas and we commend Ethos Urban on their thought leadership.

Macken considers the new strategy will amplify existing locations and identify new locations for arts and cultural activities, night markets, restaurants, cafes, bars, public spaces and events noting “an easily accessible, coherent neon grid will encourage greater movement across Sydney, activating a greater proportion of the city rather than intensifying activity in a few locations.

“The neon grid aims to reduce problems such as crowd control and traffic congestion, while also filtering noise impacts and anti-social behaviour. It will also open up the city and allow both residents and tourists to explore new places in the neon light.

“We look forward to continuing being part of the conversation and working closely with the Committee for Sydney and NSW Government to shape these sorts of innovative solutions.”

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