Getting cross over the cross
By Victoria Saule
Free rent is being offered to commercial tenants in Kings Cross in lieu of the 6th month anniversary of Sydney’s infamous lockout laws.
The $14,000 project- Renew Kings Cross - funded by the Potts Point Partnership has been initiated in response to the financial recession businesses in the area are blaming on the new lockout laws.
“The lockout must be repealed immediately otherwise within months you will not find anyone on this street,” owner of popular pizza and kebab stores in the area Michael Guven told ABC News.
”We’ve seen a drop of about 13-15% in gross sales,” said manager of Oxford Art Factory, Mark Gerber.
The laws, enacted as a part of the NSW’s governments desire to crackdown on alcohol related violence, require all CBD venues to stop admitting patrons after 1:30am and stop selling alcohol after 3am.
For Sydney’s partygoers this has meant that nights spent out in the city end either unexcitingly early, or with an aimless zombie march towards the nearest 24hr McDonalds to kill time before trains start running again.
According to NSW Police, cases of alcohol related violence in the CBD has almost halved since the installation of the laws.
However, the party scene has seemingly immigrated to Sydney’s inner west suburbs – such as Newtown and Erskinville – unaffected by the lockout restrictions.
An influx in warehouse parties outside the city has also been recorded.
Project Renew Kings Cross is aimed at start-up businesses who would temporarily not have to pay rent in order to “attract a more diverse business mix into the area, and to assist to stimulate daytime activity” the Potts Point Partnership co-ordinator Louise Shepherd told The Daily Telegraph.
Despite the questioned effectiveness of Sydney’s lockout laws, the NSW Government plans to extend the laws beyond the CBD.