Response to reports about Kings Cross

19 July 2012

Kings Cross faces some large and complex challenges. In addition to the actions that council can do directly, we want to work closely with the NSW Government, business and residents to make a difference in Kings Cross. We can’t do this alone. We need to work together on many actions to improve this situation.

The NSW Government has responsibility for the things that will make the biggest difference in Kings Cross - licensing and planning laws, public transport and policing.

We need better governance. That means a coordinated Management Plan for Kings Cross and the creation of a high level Executive Group that includes local council to respond to late trading issues. The Premier has agreed to this.

We need better transport. If the Government allows 24-hour trading, it must provide 24-hour transport. We call on the Government to trial a Late Night Sprint, one-way train service out of the Cross on Friday and Saturday nights that links with more NightRide buses at Town Hall or Central. We also want the government to amend the Passenger Transport Act to let private operators run shuttle buses, and a pre-pay system for taxis after midnight.

We need managed growth of late trading venues. We want the Government to commit to ‘saturation’ legislation that covers both planning and licensing to ensure there is no further growth in the numbers of large, late trading licensed venues in Kings Cross.

We have asked the NSW Government to introduce a permit system so that liquor licenses are reviewed every two years, and if venue operators are not up to standard their license should not be renewed.

We have also asked the NSW Government to change planning laws so that Council has the power to reject development applications on the grounds that there are already too many licensed premises in a given area. Council currently does not have such powers and our attempt to restrict new premises often end up being overturned in the Land and Environment Court.

Where we have responsibility, we are doing our part. We are installing six new CCTV security cameras in the Cross, taking the total number in the area to nine. CCTV is normally a state government responsibility but we went ahead with installing our 81 cameras city-wide because it was clear the network would not happen otherwise.

We have approved, at the request of police and with the support of local residents, Alcohol Free Zones across all of the Kings Cross Local area, giving police powers to pour out the alcohol of anyone drinking in public spaces.

We held a community forum in June that came up with nearly 500 ideas for ways to improve Kings Cross, and we are committed to delivering dozens of the ones that are within our power this summer. They include a one-call service for reporting noise and other complaints, late night Precinct Ambassadors linked to our CCTV network, and a redesigned taxi rank to improve wait times. 

Last updated: Thursday, 9 January 2014