Graph shows Sydney’s embarrassment
Embarrassing new research shows Sydney's night-life is among the most restrictive in the world - as the biggest sign yet that its controversial lockout laws may be repealed emerges.
The Harbour City was found to have the second earliest average closing times out of 30 global cities in new research compiled by technology company Traveloka.
It comes as NSW Labor promised it will repeal lockout laws if it is voted in at the next state election.
HOW DID OTHER CITIES FARE?
Surprisingly, London had the earliest average closing time of all in the Traveloka research, with venues shutting at 12.09am, while Sydney took second place at 12.20am.
But Sydney had the lowest percentage of venues still open at 12am, just 45 per cent to London's 46 per cent - and the English capital has a much greater total volume of pubs and bars.
With an average closing time of 2.56am, the Greek capital of Athens proves to be a safe bet for those looking for a thriving night-life scene. At 12am, 89 per cent of its venues were still open.
In a close second place is Istanbul, Turkey at 2.52am, followed by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 2.23am and New York City where it appears the city that never sleeps does actually hit the snooze button - at 2.20am.
Percentage of venues still open over time
Meanwhile, Berlin, Germany, famed for its partying and non-stop night-life, has a somewhat surprisingly early average closing time of 2.01am.
PUSH TO REPEAL LOCKOUT LAWS
The figures come as a fresh debate over NSW's controversial lockout laws reared its head this week.
The state's Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is pushing to wind back Sydney's lockout laws and NSW Labor has promised to scrap the restrictions "in a single piece of legislation" if it wins the state election in March.
Labor's new shadow minister for the arts and night-time economy, John Graham, said the party's priority is to "put the verve back into Sydney's night-life".
"This is the plan to turn things around in Sydney, NSW, for the music sector," he told reporters yesterday. "We've lost hundreds of venues, thousands of jobs; musicians, hospital workers out of work."
Shooters MP Robert Borsak said his party believed in "freedom of choice" when it introduced a vote to repeal lockout laws in October.
BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS
However, a group of NSW emergency service workers have hit back at the push, saying politicians who vote to repeal the laws will have blood on their hands.
Last Drinks spokesman Tony Sara said the laws - in place since 2014 - have saved lives and prevented thousands of injuries.
He said St Vincent's Hospital had seen a 50 per cent drop in serious overnight head injuries and it would be "reckless" for any politicians to overturn the laws.
Dr Sara warned politicians repealing the laws would return Sydney to "the bad days of alcohol-fuelled violence, sexual assaults and deaths".
"Do not do this. If you do, there will be blood on your hands," Dr Sara told reporters.
"You speak to the parents of those young men who died - they see it as profits before lives."
However, as it unveiled its night-life statistics, a Traveloka spokesman said night-time economies across the world have come increasingly under threat, with stricter curfews and licensing laws killing off many venues.
"Night-life forms an important part of a city's culture - and to truly know a city, you need to see it at night. The transformation from day to night can be stark, but offering travellers the opportunity to experience it in an entirely different way," Traveloka spokesman Caesar Indra said.
"Whether you're on a city break and have decided to forego sleep in favour of doing and seeing as much as possible, or awake at unusual hours thanks to jet lag, night-life can be an exciting way to while away the hours and make new friends.
"However, cities around the world are seeing significant crackdowns on their night-life, with curfews being imposed on many venues. This not only has the potential to turn travellers away, but to remove some of that city's identity permanently."