THE Hunter head of the hotel industry group says he is hopeful Sydney's decision to remove lockout laws in January marks a "turning point" that could eventually reach Newcastle.
The decision has failed to win over advocates for the lockouts, who maintain the laws are necessary and saving lives.
Rolly De With, the Newcastle Hunter president of the NSW AHA, on Thursday applauded Premier Gladys Berejiklian's announcement the laws would be no more in the state capital come January 14. Last entry at 1.30am will be lifted across Sydney CBD along with limits on cocktails and shots after midnight.
Mr De With said he was hopeful the Sydney decision on the laws introduced in 2014 could act as a catalyst "in allowing Newcastle the chance to also move forward without the interventions of the past".
"It is our hope that this decision will mark a turning point both for the city of Sydney and eventually Newcastle in reaching their full potentials as vibrant, diverse and economically viable cities after dark," Mr De With said.
"Since interventions were imposed upon Newcastle in 2008 our city has undergone significant change including unprecedented development within the business and tourism sectors and hosting national and international sporting events such as the Supercars Newcastle 500."
Tony Brown, a key proponent of the changes introduced in Newcastle more than a decade ago and Newcastle spokesman for the NSW/ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance, said he was particularly concerned that bottle shop hours could extend until midnight given the potential impact on domestic and family violence.
He argued that the government had gone against advice from emergency services and hospitals who sought to have the rules retained.
"For the NSW government to put the commercial interests of a powerful industry ahead of the safety of our vulnerable community is deplorable and should be condemned," Mr Brown said. "Now is definitely not the time to be contemplating reducing our life-saving conditions."