The lockout laws in Sydney will be lifted for one night to celebrate Mardi Gras’ parade and party on Saturday 3 March.
Minister for Liquor and Racing, Paul Toole, said the lift would allow partygoers to continue to be admitted to venues around the Oxford Street area beyond the usual 1.30am or 2am cutoff.
Venues will still need to stop serving alcohol at the usual 3am time slot on Sunday morning, or 3.30am for venues with love entertainment extensions.
“The NSW Government is pleased to relax the lockout laws as part of its support for Mardi Gras,” Toole said.
“It’s an internationally renowned event that attracts visitors from all over the world and injects around $40 million into the NSW economy every year.
“Relaxing the requirements will give people more time to make their way to surrounding venues and events when the parade finishes.”
Minister for Arts, Don Harwin, said the decision helped to recognise the importance of Mardi Gras.
“The city will come alive and this move allows businesses to take full advantage of the influx of the large crowds expected,” he said.
“It’s an important milestone for the LGBTI community and we trust everyone will have a safe evening celebration.”
Last week Councillor Christine Forster wrote to Premier Gladys Berejiklian to ask that the city’s venue lockout laws be relaxed on the night of the Mardi Gras parade.
Forster said lifting the laws for Mardi Gras would be a “gesture of goodwill” to the LGBTI community.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the 40th annual Mardi Gras celebration, with Cher slated to headline the official party.