Sydney Will Once Again Lift Its Lockout Laws For New Year's Eve

28 December 2015 | 11:20 am | Staff Writer

Now's your chance, people: party like there's a 3am curfew every other day of the year!

New Year's Eve revellers in Sydney's CBD will be able to enjoy a rare evening of less restrictive entertainment than the norm when the city again lifts its 1.30am lockout laws for the night.

Following in 2014's footsteps, the Office Of Liquor, Gaming & Racing has advised that the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts will be exempt from the usual 1.30am one-way door policy, though the existing 3am cease-alcohol-service stipulation and other special requirements to be adhered to by venues will remain in effect.

However, OLGR acting executive director Samantha Torres said in a statement, Sydneysiders shouldn't get too used to the idea of more lenient lockouts — this is definitively a once-a-year deal.

"Removal of the lockout on New Year's Eve only is a one-off annual exception that is in place due to the unique circumstances," Torres said. 

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"New Year's Eve is unique because the main event around which celebrations are focused occurs at and after midnight. On no other occasion do we see such high volumes of people concentrated in the CBD precinct seeking access to venues at a time that coincides with the lockout."

In addition to the relaxed lockouts for New Year's Eve, the midnight curfew on licensed vessels dropping off passengers in the CBD precinct will only be in effect from 3am until 7am on New Year's Day.

The OLGR estimates that more than 1 million people will travel into the CBD and its surrounds to celebrate the arrival of 2016, with the aim of the eased lockouts being to better accommodate a staggered flow of traffic and reduce crowding at public transport stations, taxi ranks and on the streets in the early hours of the new year.