By Aimee Chanthadavong

Sydney may be turned into another ‘city that never sleeps’ as Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore plans to develop a policy for the late night trading.

Retail outlets, museums and art galleries are being asked to stay open till late as part of this initiative. The policy will also cover issues from better transport options to safer pubs and clubs.

"People should have choices if they are heading out at night – from a street bar with live music, to an energetic club to an inspiring art exhibition or bookshop,” Moore said.

“Currently most cultural venues and cafes operate normal business hours and are not often open till late. It needs to change – it's time Sydney catches up to the rest of the world.”

The policy will be developed in consultation with the community, NSW Government, NSW Police, Transport NSW and the liquor industry and is being developed in part to help curb alcohol and drug fuelled violence in Sydney.

Moore said that in coming weeks, City of Sydney Council will implement a number of measures to improve safety for people out late at night, including at 12 week trial of late night "Precinct Ambassadors" on George Street and a trial of new directional signage to improve access to transport and public toilets.

Commenting on the announcement, Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman said that it’s a good idea but believe the plan will only work if it’s economically viable.

“The most important thing is that we certainly don’t think retailers should be forced to open late. We also have a strong view from a retailing perspective that if it’s economical and viable then we would strong encourage retailers to trade late. But if it’s going to cost money then it makes no sense for retailers to open,” he said.

“I think retailing has changed and I know in the suburbs of Sydney, retailing on a Thursday night is no where near as strong as it was before so you have to offer something viable to keep those late nights trading hours.

“Retailers will trade 24/7 if the money is there and if it’s not viable they’re not going to trade.”