Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s plans for a safer Darlinghurst are a step closer after the Iemma Government agreed to drastically reduce liquor-licensing fees.
The Government announced it would introduce legislation abolishing $15,000 licensing fees for restaurants and small bar operators, replacing them with a $500 processing fee.
These smaller venues could cater for up to 120 people and could also be banned from containing poker machines.
Moore wanted smaller “boutique” wine bars in the side streets along Oxford St to enliven the area and reduce anti-social behaviour associated with larger hotels on the strip.
“NSW’s exorbitant licence fees, with maximum costs up to $60,000, promote large venues that do not suit all tastes and can be associated with binge-drinking, anti-social behaviour and conflict with local residents,” Moore told residents this week.
Sydney Councillor Shayne Mallard said adding more smaller bars wouldn’t uproot the large “problem” hotels in the area, whose queues were often the source of anti-gay harassment.

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