Council to unite Newtown’s King Street
Tuesday 24 October 2017
Inner West Council will seek to boost the economy of Newtown’s King Street by delivering late night retail trading, legalising arts and music in shop fronts and untangling red tape which is confusing business owners on the retail and entertainment strip.
Following City of Sydney’s proposal to investigate late night trading on one side of the busy thoroughfare, Inner West Council intends to go further by working with local business owners to establish one set of rules for all of King Street and cementing its status as an arts and music hub.
Mayor Byrne said it was time to end the frustration felt by businesses as a result of inconsistencies caused by one part of King Street being governed by Inner West Council and the other by the City of Sydney.
“I want to ensure that common sense prevails over red tape and bureaucracy and create one level playing field for all businesses to unite King Street,” he said.
“That is why we have decided to support the City of Sydney investigation of late night trading, but we want to go much further than that.”
Council has met with the Newtown Precinct Business Association about the raft of inconsistencies confronting local businesses.
“We want to fix a whole range of other irregularities that are frustrating and confusing local businesses who struggle to understand what they can and can’t do on either side of the street,” said Cr Byrne.
These irregularities include parking meters and garbage bins differing on either side of the street, and the ability for Inner West Council businesses to offer footpath dining without attracting Council fees, while businesses on City of Sydney side face charges.
Inner West Council is also proposing the legalisation of small scale arts and live performances in cares, restaurants, retail shop fronts and other main street businesses on King Street.
“King Street is the ideal environment to allow cafes, restaurants and retail shops to host grass roots music and theatre to small audiences,” said Cr Byrne.
“This would provide a shot in the arm to the local arts scene and exponentially increase the number of venues for emerging artists.
“For years politicians have been acting like the fun police, shutting down venues and neglecting the arts.
“Our local governments must now stand proudly on the side of artists and their audiences.”
Council will work with Newtown Precinct Business Association to help them establish an independent working group with representation from all of the different authorities and regulatory bodies that govern King Street to establish one set of regulations for King Street.
Irregularities experienced by local business operators include:
- Parking meters provided on the Inner West Council side of King Street only
- Garbage bins provided on the Inner West Council side of King Street only
- Inconsistent approaches to paving and streetscape treatment, including paving on Inner west side and bitumen only on the City of Sydney side
- Ability for operators to provide footpath dining free of Council charges on the Inner West Council side but with costs on the City of Sydney
- Smart poles stopping abruptly when King Street switches from City of Sydney to Inner West Council
- Grants opportunities which are available to businesses on one side of the street only