A Daley Labor government will tackle the NSW music venue crisis by removing red tape, encouraging more venues to open and preventing unreasonable complainants from holding venues to ransom.
NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley and Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy John Graham, today launched Labor’s plan to get the state’s music venues back on their feet after years of stifling regulation by the Liberals and Nationals.
Earlier this year, a NSW Parliamentary inquiry established there was a music venue crisis in NSW. A total of 176 venues have closed down in the past four years and there are fewer entertainment venues than when the Liberals and Nationals were elected in 2011.
Labor recognises that music is an important part of the fabric of the community but at the moment the music is being strangled by a complex set of regulations that stymie growth. For example, the Parliamentary inquiry found that 669 liquor licenses imposed conditions that either banned or restricted live entertainment.
Labor believes musicians have a “right to play” and so a Daley Labor Government will act to,
- 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.
Labor will also conduct an independent census of live venues every two years and will report statistics including the number of venues, number of performances, number of working musicians, and number of hospitality workers.
The census would provide valuable data to performers, venues and local councils, and would inform policy decisions on the sector that Labor would make in Government.