Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

Greens call for Night-Time Mayor to lively up our city

Greens MP and night-time economy spokesperson Cate Faehrmann joined Wollongong Lord Mayor candidate Jess Whittaker on Wednesday to launch the Greens plan for a Night-Time Mayor in Wollongong.

Venues and local business owners in the region have long been weighed down by paperwork and regulations from Council, NSW Liquor and Gaming and NSW Police. This has left many venues delayed or unable to open at all, resulting in a struggling, empty night scene.

This is why the Greens have proposed a Night-Time Mayor. A person responsible for prioritising the areas night-time economy and streamlining clunky venue approval processes, as well as assisting with planning so late-night businesses can be clustered together to create lively precincts.

Cate Faehrmann, MLC and spokesperson for music and night-time economy said, “Wollongong is a thriving, diverse city that deserves its music and night-time economy to be a priority.

“All too often owners of restaurants, cafes and bars who want to provide diverse night-time options for the community find themselves struggling with a confusing and over-the-top regulatory environment and a lack of planning. This isn’t great for business and it’s not great for the community with a lack of lively, safe spaces on offer for people who want to go out late with their family and friends.

“We can’t allow our smaller, but growing cities to be left behind. The night-time economy of Wollongong is just as important as Sydney’s and must be supported by all levels of government.

“I can see enormous value in a a Night-Time Mayor for the Illawarra region. I therefore call on the NSW Government to support this position with appropriate resources, along with funding better and safer night-time public transport.

Jess Whittaker, Greens Candidate for Wollongong City Lord Mayor, said: “Our night-time economy has taken a beating from Covid and a lack of adequate help for venue owners, promoters and others to get through the Council’s red tape and clunky channels.

“We need fresh ideas to encourage growth in our city and appointing a Night Mayor, such as they did in Amsterdam in 2017, we can enhance our nightlife and help bring visitors and citizens to our city centre and our city villages.

“We want places in our city that offer thriving night-time events and spaces that keep our visitors safe and our neighbours happy.

“On top of that we need to work with the State government to ensure we have adequate well-lit and safe public transport throughout the essential evening times to support a night time economy.

“We believe a Night-Time Mayor would be a great first step to help businesses cut through red tape, create night time businesses in a central location to create that buzz, ensure there is adequate transport to those sites, and encourage an optimal mix of bars, music venues, food, and cultural activities,” Jess said.

Join us in the call for a Night Mayor, send us an email.

How would a Night Mayor Work?

The role of the Night Mayor is to be the spokesperson and advisor for local night-time businesses including music venues, bars, 24-hour gyms, late-night grocery stores and more.

The Night Mayor would:

  • provide advice and support to venue operator’s going to Council with an application so that they can cut through the huge amount of forms and red tape
  • help cluster night-time businesses together to create small precincts
  • support existing villages and precincts, such as Wentworth Street in Port Kembla or Thirroul, by raising awareness of their offerings within the community
  • build relationships with, and listen to the needs of, local night-time businesses and ensure their feedback is reaching Council.