No lockout exemptions for Oxford St on Mardi Gras night

No lockout exemptions for Oxford St on Mardi Gras night

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 19 February 2014 16:17 Written by // Reg Domingo

The NSW Government is standing firm against calls for one-off exemptions from the lockout laws for pubs and clubs on Oxford Street on Mardi Gras night.

The laws, which come into effect on February 24, include a 1.30am lockout and last drinks at 3am for licensed venues in the Sydney CBD and inner city.

There will also be a state-wide ban on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm.

A spokesperson for the Hospitality Minister George Souris told SX: “There will be no exemptions”.

Last year, around 10,000 people participated in the Mardi Gras Parade with an estimated 300,000 spectators lining the parade route.

With such an influx of people on Mardi Gras night, there are concerns the lockout laws could jeopardise, rather than protect, people’s safety.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said “safe and well-managed venues on Oxford Street should be given a one-off exemption for Mardi Gras”.

“Given the large numbers of people expected to be in Oxford Street, including international and interstate visitors who are unaware of the new rules, doing this could help ensure safety,” she said.


Above: Over 300,000 people are expected to line Oxford and Flinders Streets to watch the Mardi Gras Parade. Photo: Mardi Gras PhotoTeam/Connie Chan

In a statement, Souris said: “We expect full cooperation from venues and patrons as it is in everybody’s interest that we improve safety and amenity of the CBD and prevent senseless acts of violence”.

The lockouts and last drinks restrictions do not apply to the Mardi Gras Party, with the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park outside the government’s alcohol exclusion zone.

Sydney Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik urged people to consider coming to the Mardi Gras Party.

“It is the community’s, it’s a private party and it’s diverse. There are six venues, it’s fully licensed. We have a great collaboration with the police and there is no fear of people seeking to hijack the party and create an environment that is aggressive or intimidating.”

Moore said Mardi Gras is the second largest event in Sydney after New Year’s Eve.

“It is disappointing the NSW Government has decided to introduce new restrictions on licensed venues, including those along Oxford Street, in the same week Sydney is trying to attract visitors and build its reputation as an exciting and accepting city.”


Arq (NB: Eclipse Dayclub at Arq will open at 5am on Saturday and Sunday)
Beresford Hotel
Colombian Hotel
Gay Bar
Midnight Shift
Oxford Hotel
Phoenix (NB: Up Dayclub at Phoenix will open at 5am on Saturday, Sunday and Monday)
Stonewall Hotel


Bank Hotel
Imperial Hotel
Newtown Hotel
Sly Fox Hotel


Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo is the editor of SX.

Comments (3)

  • Phlan-Michelle

    20 February 2014 at 11:26 |
    Thanks Barry, You homophob you & your homophobic Government has now made it just that little more dangerous for the LGBTI community doesn't the NSW Government Know that a LGBTI Knows that most of go to THE STRIP( Oxford & Flinders St.) after a certain time & not only for the Pubs & Clubs because it's a safe place for us to be & I'll mention the Elephant in the room here It's an Homophobic attack on the LGBTI community in a stealth method. Let me explain it. A law that's due to come into effect in April all of a sudden is brought forward to the 24th of February right in the middle of Mardi Gras Season STINKS of Anti Gay Discrimination to me. Especially during the State's Second Largest Event. the Largest outside of New Years It also brings in a large amount of tourist dollars to the NSW community as well I bet if it was New Years it would be brought into force in April.


  • GrahamT

    20 February 2014 at 08:26 |
    Hasn't Clover realised that the NSW Government (and the religious cronnies who control them) do not want Sydney to be a "exciting and accepting city". They want a 1950's style city.. boring, oppressed and corrupt so they can line their pockets.
    The goverment and the police want Mardi Gras gone. They have being trying to stop it for years.


  • Randel Morris

    19 February 2014 at 15:32 |
    UP Dayclub will be open from 5am as usual every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday.

    For pre sale Q Jump tickets for MG SUNDAY ONLY


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