NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley and Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy John Graham have today launched the NSW Labor Party’s plan to tackle the state's live music crisis.
It comes after a NSW parliamentary inquiry, released last November, established there was "a music venue crisis in NSW" with 176 venues closing in the past four years.
Labor proposes to combat this crisis by "removing red tape, encouraging more venues to open and preventing serial wowsers from holding venues to ransom".
“I have said I want NSW to get its verve back," Daley said of the announcement.
“These measures are good for venues, good for residents. They should provide practical help for venues, but make government processes more open for residents.”
Graham shared Daley's sentiments.
“I formed Labor Loves Live Music in 2012, concerned about a loss of venues. The situation is now at crisis point," he said.
“Too often it is a case of ‘another one bites the dust’ - one more venue lost to overdevelopment and overregulation.
“These measures are supported by a number of bipartisan recommendations of the 2018 NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the Music and Arts Economy.”
The measures outlined in the "right to play" music venue policy include:
- Amend the Liquor Act to introduce the “right to play” and create a new class of licence specifically for venues dedicated to live entertainment;
- Create a one-stop shop for both venues and residents to deal with noise complaints, and streamline the complex regulations that govern noise from live venues;
- Establish a single process for venues to obtain planning and liquor approvals to significantly reduce wait times for venues and provide the community with a simple comprehensive process for consultation;
- Create a Minister for Music and Night Time Economy, and hold regular roundtable discussions for the Night Time Economy;
- Conduct a census to establish the number of venues, musicians and performances that take place at any given time in NSW; and
- Provide practical assistance for venues with a new $1.2 million programme to venues to assist with soundproofing.
Daley foreshadowed the plans in December when Labor promised to scrap restrictions on NSW live music venues.