City of Sydney Councillor Christine Forster is seeking a relaxation of lockout laws for a week in the lead-up to the 2019 Mardi Gras Parade.

Forster wrote to NSW Minister for Racing Paul Toole asking for the 1.30am lockout to be relaxed in Darlinghurst preceding the Parade on March 2.

Last year, lockout laws were lifted on the weekend of the Parade and Mardi Gras Party, which Forster says led to a spike in patronage for businesses in the area.

“At the same time, there was no reported increase in incidents of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour either in the immediate vicinity or surrounding areas.

“Given the success of the temporary measure in 2018, I would like to request the lockouts be relaxed in the same are from 23 February 2019 until 3 March 2019,” Forster wrote.

“The relaxation of the laws for a full week would provide visitors to Sydney the fullest opportunity to enjoy the festival and the cultural experience which this part of the city offers in a safe and relaxed environment.

Forster also suggested that a week-long easing of the laws would be an effective trial an eventual permanent removal of the 1.30am lockout in all parts of the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, for which she has been lobbying for some time while in office.

Forster’s letter to Premier Gladys Berejiklian last year was part of the push which successfully saw the laws lifted for the major Mardi Gras weekend.

You can read Forster’s full letter, which she posted on Twitter, below.

Further reading: ‘How Sydney’s drag scene has evolved with the lockout laws’

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