The state government says a trial starting this week of relaxed liquor laws in Newcastle will not include weaker controls over noise.
The trial of later trading and stronger drinks at 20 inner-city restaurants and six small bars is due to start on Thursday after the government clears two bureaucratic hurdles to make it legal.
An email obtained under freedom-of-information laws from City of Newcastle chief executive officer Jeremy Bath to Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello's office on July 28 said an "outstanding issue that needs to be resolved is when noise is a condition of consent".
"Liquor & Gaming are working on this issue and ... intends to provide a statement of regulatory intent which has the effect of relaxing noise conditions for the period of the trial," Mr Bath wrote.
A letter from lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes to participating venues on August 31 said "drink and noise restrictions" would be managed by a statement of regulatory intent being drafted by Liquor & Gaming.
The suggestion that relaxed noise restrictions would be part of the six-month trial contradicted public advice from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which explicitly ruled out such changes this month when it exhibited a proposal to amend planning laws to facilitate the trial.
"It is proposed that neighbourhood amenity, safety and potential environmental impacts caused by late night trading hours (such as noise) will continue to be managed and enforced under the existing licensing requirements and conditions of consent," DPIE said on its website.
A Department of Customer Service spokesperson said on Sunday that the proposed statement of regulatory intent "does not cover any issue related to noise".
"It is limited to hours of operation and restrictions on types of drinks," the spokesperson said.
The statement will change the way Liquor & Gaming NSW enforces the venues' licensing conditions.
The DPIE's proposed changes to the council's Local Environment Plan would allow the participating bars to open until 2am and the restaurants until midnight.
Newcastle council is pushing for the trial to be extended from six to 12 months after it said last week that 72 per cent of 142 submissions on the DPIE's planning rule changes were supportive.
A report to councillors on Tuesday said the "weight of the positive submissions indicates strong general community support for the trial".
The submissions are not yet publicly available on the DPIE website.
Cr Nelmes told Tuesday's meeting that a longer trial would allow the Committee for Night-time Jobs and Investment, of which she is a member, to gather more data.
She said DPIE could exhibit and approve changes to the LEP to facilitate a longer trial after the initial six-month period had started, a move Greens councillor John Mackenzie said would undermine the community's trust in the transparency of the process.
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