Lockout and trading restrictions at pubs in Newcastle are set to be eased as part of a trial to boost the city's night-time economy.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello announced on Wednesday that revellers would be able to enter bars, pubs and clubs after the existing 1am curfew.
Venues will be able to serve spirits and cocktails later with the 3am closing time to also be extended.
The trial comes after the NSW government ended lockout laws in Kings Cross, leaving Newcastle as the last city precinct in the state with strict late-night trading restrictions after the introduction of the "Newcastle Solution" in 2008.
Mr Dominello said the trial, which follows relaxed restrictions on small bars and restaurants in the city, is expected to begin in the middle of this year and run for 12 months.
Relaxed conditions for small bars and restaurants will remain in place until January next year.
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"Newcastle is an engine room of our state's economy and it's not fair to leave the city's nightlife stuck in 2008," Mr Dominello said.
"Where there are incidents of alcohol-related violence arising from late trading hotels, we need to respond with targeted intervention.
"Gone are the days of blanket bans across an entire city - what's good enough for Sydney is good enough for Newcastle."
Last month, regional police commander Wayne Humphrey last week described a bipartisan push to remove Newcastle's lockouts as "absolute lunacy" because the inner-city still had assault rates four times the state average.
But Police Minister played down those concerns, saying "this is not a green light for the criminal element to return to Newcastle".
"We will closely monitor changes in the area and will not accept a return to any sort of violence," he said.
More to come
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