Sydney shuts down, Melbourne opens up

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In the age-old battle between Australia’s two capital cities, it is pretty clear who is winning on the nightlife front.

In February, Freelancer Chief Executive Matt Barrie had some very harsh words about Sydney nightlife:

As I write this in 2016, not a day goes by without the press reporting of yet another bar, club, hotel, restaurant or venue closing…

It is now illegal to buy a bottle of wine after 10pm in the City of Sydney because not a single one of us is to be trusted with any level of personal responsibility…

Likewise it is now illegal to have a scotch on the rocks after midnight in the City of Sydney because someone might die

Most damaging of all a 1:30am curfew where you cannot enter a licensed premises, which deliberately aims to kill the trade of any business that operates at night.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle announced today his support for 24-hour liquor licences:

Cr Doyle supports a partial extension of opening hours into the early morning at smaller venues and those serving food.

But he said a return to the days of 24-hour beer barns was not on the cards: each venue would be judged on its merits.

All-night public transport was changing the way the city worked at the weekend, and Cr Doyle said the city needed to prepare for extended hours “and move towards a real 24-hour city”.

The contrast could not be more stark.

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