Sydney’s ‘summer of freedom’

15 December 2021 | Posted In: News

As the NSW government and the City of Sydney make efforts to resuscitate the hospitality industry, the planning rule book has been thrown out the window.

NSW customer service minister Victor Dominello, who led last year’s calls to reduce red tape to allow hospitality venues to create alfresco spaces, said: “The sweet life in Sydney is all about the outdoors. The time is coming to embrace our summer of freedom.” The further expansion of reforms means that streets, bowling greens — even carparks — can become potential outdoor settings for restaurants and beer gardens.

NSW planning minister Rob Stokes said the government will do all it can to make it easy for venues to expand their businesses outside. “We’re blessed with a beautiful climate, and spectacular places and open spaces. Let’s move indoors outdoors, raise a glass and enjoy summer after a rough winter.”

Meanwhile, urban think tank Committee for Sydney is lobbying for local councils to pedestrianise their high streets. “As the weather gets warmer, we call on councils and state government to work with local businesses to temporarily close certain streets and to roll out parklets across the city,” read a statement. “Done right, we have an opportunity to build a new culture of outdoor dining across Sydney.”