Councillor Angela Vithoulkas of the Living Sydney Team today praised the final draft of the OPEN Sydney: Future Directions for Sydney at Night strategy document, which will be voted on by the City of Sydney at a council meeting tonight. Following her strong recommendations, Councillor Vithoulkas is especially pleased with City of Sydney’s Council staff willingness to modify the strategy document at this late stage to ensure inclusion of safety. It can now be said that this crucial element will remain at the forefront of all future discussions.
OPEN Sydney: Future Directions for Sydney at Night is a plan that has been developed over the last 24 months. It focuses on 5 overarching goals of A Global Sydney, A Connected Sydney, A Diverse Sydney , An Inviting and Safe Sydney and a Responsive Sydney.
Safety was initially excluded from the otherwise comprehensive strategy document, but was added following passionate internal campaigning by Councillor Vithoulkas and following extensive community consultation by the Councillor and her team and will now be a priority in the strategy for Sydney.
“To change such an important document at this late stage to include safety highlights the importance of this issue to the future success of the entire strategy,” said Councillor Vithoulkas.
“In all reality, you simply can’t be discussing initiatives around the night time economy of Sydney, to discuss a global Sydney or diverse Sydney without having safety underpinning everything.”
“Our residents have gone through too much heartbreak for safety to ever be ignored or downplayed again. While people were galvanised last July with the tragic death of Thomas Kelly, we still see alcohol-fuelled violence rearing its ugly head every weekend.”
“It is my hope that recognising safety in this plan will be seen as a clear statement from the entire council. I’m very pleased my involvement with this affected such an important plan for the city.”
“Whilst the action plan for OPEN Sydney covers a number of strategies, there is still work to be done around the residential amenity. The concerns of the residents are well founded and yet to be adequately addressed.”
“I will lobby for equal attention to be given to the daytime economy which is vital for the success of our city. The success of any night time economic strategy should not come at the detriment of the day time economy and our residents.”
Councillor Vithoulkas’ passionate stance on the topic, which has been acknowledged by the Council, comes off the back of significant community consultation and her background in small business in the Sydney CBD.