Hospitality Business Magazine

Sydney looks to 24-hour economy for COVID recovery

When the NSW Government set about plans for Sydney’s future and a 24-hour economy, it was initially about helping revive the city’s nightlife post-lockouts.

A lot has changed in that time and now the 24-hour Economy Strategy outlined by the Australian Government on September 14 will be crucial to Sydney’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The strategy sets out three key measures to drive the 24-hour economy policy, which are:

  • A Coordinator General for the 24-hour Economy
  • The 24-hour Economy Acceleration Program
  • The Neon Grid

The appointment of the Coordinator General will be crucial as this role will be central to the strategy’s implementation as they will a champion for a vibrant, diverse, inclusive and safe 24-hour economy throughout Sydney.

The 24-hour Economy Strategy comprises five Strategic Pillars, each of which address a distinct opportunity area in Sydney’s 24-hour economy;

  • Support more integrated planning and place-making –more ‘joined-up’ State, local government and industry collaboration to enable the 24-hour economy to thrive.
  • Encourage the diversification of night-time activities by supporting a wider variety of businesses at night.
  • Nurture industry and cultural development to help entrepreneurs thrive in the 24-hour economy.
  • Explore ways to enhance mobility and improve connectivity between 24-hour economy hubs through safe and reliable transport.
  • Change the narrative for Sydney to drive more local consumption, highlight Sydney as a world-class night-time destination, and encourage healthy behaviours.

Australian Hotels Association NSW has been part of the development of this strategy since the beginning and Director of Liquor and Gaming John Green, said: “We look forward to continued involvement in the various working groups to ensure hotels are well represented.

“The Association is pleased to see the strategy including suburbs outside the CBD – recognising we are a true global city which needs a coherent approach across all Sydney.

“Also, our hotels have always been the mainstay of live music in NSW so any measures aimed at reducing red tape are obviously welcome.”

The Night Time Industries Association is another that has worked hard on plans to help revive Sydney’s night-time economy and Chair, Michael Rodrigues, said: “Paris, London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York. When you think of some of the greatest cities in the world, they are all international destinations with a strong nightlife brand. The elements that create a diverse and exciting night-time economy in all of these places are outlined in this 24-Hour Economy Strategy, along with a clear plan of next steps.

“It’s the pathway to getting Sydney on this list of ‘must-visit’ international nightlife destinations and a very exciting step for our great city. The Night Time Industries Association welcomes this vision-setting strategy from the NSW Government as the culmination of cross industry-government collaboration for the last few years.”

“The 24-Hour Economy Strategy outlines a plan to build back better and stronger, re-energising Sydney’s nightlife and contributing to the state’s economic recovery at a time when it’s most needed. However, importantly, while it contemplates our current context with COVID-19, it also looks beyond, recognising great cities aren’t built overnight, with a pathway to deliver a socially and culturally vibrant nightlife for many generations.”

Spirits & Cocktails Australia CEO, Greg Holland, added: “The 24-Hour Economy Strategy will provide the boost Sydney’s bars and nightlife venues need to recover from COVID-19.

“After years of lockout and months of lockdown, the strategy offers a path forward where Sydney’s world-class bars will thrive in a vibrant ecosystem where live music, late night arts and culture and accessible transport are the norm.

“Importantly, the strategy will unlock Sydney’s potential for a $16 billion 24-hour economy, creating jobs and opportunities to expedite the city’s recovery from COVID-19, and see Sydney reclaim its world-class standing.”

Source: Bars & Clubs