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Sydney's nightlife dims prospects in city rivalries

China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-26 09:27

The Sydney Opera House is seen as a smoke haze hits Sydney, Australia, November 19, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

SYDNEY - High living costs, inadequate cultural venues and a lackluster nightlife scene are acting as a "major drag" when it comes to Sydney's place as one of the world's most livable cities, a report warned on Monday.

Measuring the harbor city's appeal against 33 other global metropolises, the Committee for Sydney report found that compared with other destinations, affordability remains high.

When stacked up against all other English-speaking cities, the minimum salary required to comfortably afford a rented, unfurnished one-bedroom apartment was the fifth-highest in the world, behind San Francisco, London, Boston and Washington DC.

However, despite the inflated cost of living, the report outlines that Sydney is still a "great place to do business", particularly for female-led companies, due to the city's freedoms, transparency and low-risk environment.

While international visitors continue to flock to Australia along with foreign students, according to the authors, the harbor city is no longer seen as "fun", ranking a disappointing 26th.

In 2014, the New South Wales state government introduced controversial legislation that made it illegal for bars, pubs and clubs to accept patrons after 1:30 am in some of Sydney's main entertainment districts, in an attempt to curb late-night violence and anti-social behavior.

As a result of Sydney's lockout laws, the city's night time economy has plummeted.

"Sydney remains an extremely attractive place to live and work in, with one of the most sophisticated economies in the Southern Hemisphere, a wonderful quality of life and a global brand that is the envy of most other cities," Committee for Sydney chief executive Gabriel Metcalf said.

"However, as a city we can't rest on our laurels. Sydney is seen as lacking cultural breadth.

"Compared to peer cities, Sydney lacks the number and quality of cultural amenities such as museums, theaters and concert halls and for the availability of varied and authentic cultural events that enable visitors to appreciate and experience local heritage and culture."

Metcalf also said Sydney's underperforming nighttime economy "is a major drag on our global reputation".


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