NSW Labor and the Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy John Graham have announced a new “right to play” music venue policy, which includes a provision of $1.2 million to assist live music venues with soundproofing and the creation of a new licensing scheme in a bid to prevent “serial wowsers from holding venues to ransom”.
Launching the policy at Oxford Arts Factory in Darlinghurst on Wednesday, NSW Labor leader Michael Daley said Labour would amend the Liquor Act to create a new class of licence for venues dedicated to live music, and would streamline the process for obtaining planning and liquor approvals in a bid to reduce waiting times.
A recent NSW Parliamentary inquiry revealed that 669 liquor licences imposed conditions that either banned or restricted live entertainment.
Mr Daley has also committed to creating a “one-stop shop” for venues and residents to deal with noise complaints.
“These measures are good for venues, good for residents. They should provide practical help for venues, but make government processes more open for residents,” he said.
John Graham, who formed Labor Loves Live Music in 2012, said the loss of live music venues across NSW “was now at crisis point”.
“Too often it is a case of ‘another one bites the dust’ – one more venue lost to overdevelopment and over-regulation,” Mr Graham said.
“At the moment there are seven different sets of bureaucrats dealing with noise. We want to make it easier for ordinary residents to get information to get a resolution, and harder for serial complainants.”
Mr Daley has previously stated Labor remained opposed to Sydney’s lockout laws.
Labor has also committed to conducting a biannual independent census of live venues for the purpose of reporting industry statistics like the number of venues, number of performances, number of working musicians and number of hospitality workers.
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