The National Local Government Drug and Alcohol Committee, a committee of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, today released updated research showing healthy growth in the Australian night time economy (NTE).

The report highlights sales revenues in the night time economy has jumped by more than 13% in the reporting period, up from $90 billion in 2009 to $102 billion in 2013.

Chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors’ (CCCLM) and Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese said that generating revenues on this scale was a great achievement for the NTE and an indicator of its value as an economic driver for the country.

“Distributed over three categories (food, entertainment and drink led), our Night Time Mix Index shows growth across all categories in a range of cities who participated in the study,” Martin said.

“This tells us the NTE is a major employer across the country with just on one million people, or 8.5% of all the country’s employed, working in this area.

“Another positive indicator nationally is that over the reporting period employment in and across the NTE categories grew by 6.3%, which is nearly double the employment growth in the Australian economy in the same period,” he said.

“The performance of the NTE is also good news for its supply chain, employing more than 1.6 million Australians; that means that over 25% of Australia’s workforce is connected directly or indirectly with the NTE.

“The number of businesses operating in the core Night Time Economy categories also grew by 6.9% since 2009, greater than the Australian total increase in the same period of 5.1%,” Martin said.

Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, led the country in growth over the reporting period with a 15.4% or $437 million increase led by a large expansion in food and drink venues and associated sales. In 2013, it had the single largest NTE at $3.28 billion, with Melbourne the second largest at $2.579 billion.

Food led businesses make up the largest part of the night time economy and as Australia’s foodie capital, Melbourne has shown the largest change with $382 million in extra sales since 2009. With 2013 turnover in excess of $1.5 billion, Melbourne’s food led businesses completely outperformed the national picture for change in this aspect of the study.

While acknowledging the debate taking place on public health and safety aspects of night time activities, Mr Haese said the report underlined the positive impact night time activity makes to the national economy.

“The NTE is providing a revenue stream and employment opportunities which, when supported by an appropriate operating environment, encourages the creation of businesses which develop and flourish.

“The report validates the importance of work being done by local government to deliver balance in providing vibrant and safe environments, to be enjoyed and participated in by all members of our communities and visitors,” he said.