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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Nightlife is one of the most important parts of a city or town’s culture. Captivating entertainment, delicious food and drink, and a thriving arts scene is our vision for nightlife across the state.

 

The department is helping achieve this vision by emphasizing how arts, cultural and hospitality can contribute to local economies and make nightlife a safe and exciting space for communities.

 

In August 2016, the NSW Government released the Night Time Economy Round Table Action Plan that included 25 actions. As part these actions, the Department is investigating ways it can help entrepreneurs who want to establish or expand existing businesses to add to the vibrancy of the Night Time Economy.

 

Our Guide for Establishing and Managing Night Time Economy Uses helps entrepreneurs better navigate the planning system and other legislation.

 

NSW Government’s 24-hour Economy Strategy

In September 2020, the NSW Government launched the 24-hour Economy Strategy, its long-term vision for Sydney. The strategy is a collaborative effort, reflecting the work of many NSW Government agencies, an Industry Advisory Group and a number of Sydney councils actively involved in shaping the night time economy.

 

The department will assist to deliver the strategy, with actions identified to activate spaces and place-making, align planning and liquor approvals, and streamline processes.

 

Liquor Amendment (24-hour Economy) Act 2020

In December 2020, the Liquor Amendment (Night-time Economy) Act 2020 (Liquor Amendment Act) was made to support councils’ ongoing work to develop a vibrant, safe and modern night time economy across NSW.

 

The Liquor Amendment Act which was passed by both Houses of Parliament in November 2020, seeks to encourage a vibrant and diverse nightlife where live music and entertainment thrives.

 

A number of amendments have been made to planning legislation to facilitate this, and to elevate the importance of arts and cultural activities, including live music and performance arts.

 

Please refer to our fact sheet (PDF, 142 KB) for further details about how the changes to planning legislation may affect council processes and procedures.

 

Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour Bridge illuminated with colorful light, during the Vivid Sydney. Photo by RugliG / Shutterstock

Night Time Economy guide

This Night Time Economy guide is designed to make it faster and easier for you to plan and open your night time economy business.

Guide for establishing and managing Night Time Economy uses

This Night Time Economy guide is designed to make it faster and easier for you to plan and open your night time economy business.

Read about the guide
Patrons enjoying drinks at retro-chic bar Coal & Cedar in Newcastle.

Codes SEPP Newcastle Trial

A six-month trial of extended later trading hours for small bars and restaurants in Newcastle commenced on 1 October 2020.

Night time economy trial for Newcastle

A six-month trial of extended later trading hours for small bars and restaurants commenced on 1 October 2020. The trial will support local venues and rejuvenate the night time economy.


Image credit: Destination NSW


Read about the trial
The Rocks Outdoor Dinning. Photo by: Anna Kucera

Outdoor dining

The NSW Government has streamlined planning approvals for outdoor dining to support local venues and rejuvenate the economy.

Outdoor dining

The NSW Government has streamlined planning approvals for outdoor dining to support local venues and rejuvenate the economy.

Find out more
City of Sydney’s biannual Living Colour display, Cathedral Square, Sydney. Photo by Katherine Griffiths / City of Sydney

Outdoor events

A policy amendment is in place to allow councils the use of council land for outdoor community events and associated temporary structures.

Outdoor events

The department has amended the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) to trial an exempt development provision for temporary outdoor community events.

Find out more