Live Venues, Strip Clubs Exempt From NSW Lockout Laws After Court Decision

The NSW government have been dealt a blow by the state’s Supreme Court, in a ruling declaring that certain places – including live music venues and strip clubs – will no longer be subject to the state’s harsh lockout laws. 
The ruling came after a challenge to the lockout laws, brought by the Smoking Panda Bar at the Coronation Hotel. As a result, it and seven other city venues will not be subject to the 1.30am lockout and 3.00am end of service. 
The court found that the secretary of the Justice Department did not have the right to “declare” a city venue subject to the lockout, and that the laws, passed in 2014, invalidly granted such powers. 
Justice Natalie Adams laid the statutory smackdown in her judgement, finding that clauses in the legislation “are not a proper exercise of the regulation-making power conferred upon the Governor.”
The Smoking Panda was initially exempt from the laws, as it was attached to a hotel in a “tourism accommodation establishment”, but Liquor and Gaming NSW officers cancelled the exemption when they found non-guests drinking there. 
Justice Adams highlighted a failure to adequately define the exemption in the relevant laws, saying:

“Nothing in the correspondence indicates that there was any condition stipulated by either police or the OLGR that the bar could only permissibly service residents of the hotel’s accommodation facilities.”.
The venues have not been officially named in the media, but it is understood that, while not all strip clubs will be exempt, live music spot Oxford Art Factory is amongst those that will now be exempt. 
Liquor and Gaming NSW are none-too-pleased with the idea that adults might actually get to enjoy a drink in central Sydney, and put out a curt statement in the wake of the judgement, saying:

“The decision was based on a technical legal argument in relation to the power of the secretary of the Department of Justice to declare a venue to be subject to the lockout and 3am cease service laws.  Lockout laws continue to apply … (and) compliance officers will be conducting operations this weekend.”
The NSW government has launched an appeal against the decision, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Source: Daily Telegraph.
Photo: Cole Bennetts / Getty.