Sydney could be transformed into an alfresco city, with outdoor dining and entertainment stages set up throughout the CBD in a bid to boost the economy and revive street life over summer.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet was one of several MPs who hosted the state government's summer summit on Friday which looked at ways to safely re-ignite Sydney's coronavirus-battered economy.
Possibilities include allowing more flexible outdoor dining, outdoor entertainment stages and longer trading hours for cultural institutions and retail.
The NSW government and City of Sydney Council will also look at COVID-safe outdoor events, having renowned local artists perform in CBD dining areas and entertainment precincts and more flexible public transport options.
Mr Perrottet said the government was already working with the City of Sydney to ensure retailers, cafes, bars and restaurants had the best opportunities possible across Christmas and summer.
"We have heard loud and clear from those on the front lines about what is needed to restore public confidence and get the city buzzing again to ensure businesses have a bumper summer while keeping the people safe," he said in a statement.
NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the government would look a how it can make it easier for local governments and businesses to use outdoor spaces.
"As we strip off our winter layers, let's look at how we can also strip away red tape and get this city sizzling," he said in a statement.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore reiterated the importance of working together to bring life back into the city while ensuring everyone's safety.
"We need to allow and encourage businesses to operate outdoors, and we need to support our creative and cultural life to activate and draw people back to our city, safely," she said in a statement.
The ideas discussed at Friday's meeting in Sydney will help shape policy and inform the upcoming NSW budget.
Australian Associated Press