News February 18, 2019

Community radio and live sector respond to NSW Labor policy announcement

Community radio and live sector respond to NSW Labor policy announcement

The Community Broadcasting Association (CBAA) and Live Performance Australia (LPA) are the latest to respond to NSW Labor’s policy announcement last Friday (Feb 15).

One of its promises was to invest $1 million to help community radio stations showcase NSW musicians.

The CBAA said, “This funding will help stations with programs including the broadcast of live performances from local venues and music festivals; and competitions for emerging artists.”

Labor would also change the NSW government’s advertising guidelines to ensure a greater share is put on community radio stations, where appropriate, as sponsorship announcements.

“This would bolster another revenue stream for many community radio stations around the state,” the CBAA said.

The association is also in touch with NSW arts minister Don Harwin “about the Coalition’s commitment to community radio and hope to meet with him to discuss further.”

The LPA also gave Labor’s plans the thumbs-up, including the streamlined process for festival licensing including multi-year approvals for established events.

The current plan by the NSW government is approvals must be gained every year.

LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson said, “Labor’s plan clearly responds to last year’s inquiry into the NSW music industry and it also recognises the significant economic and community contribution the live music sector makes across the state.

“With respect to music festival licensing, we would like to see a firm commitment to consulting with the industry on any licensing arrangements, particularly given the current debacle playing out in NSW where music festivals are being hammered with ad hoc policy making and the government is unwilling to sit down with industry and seek a workable solution.”

Immediately after Labor’s announcement at Selinas club in Sydney, APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said, “By including not just a substantial investment to help enable to careers of songwriters and musicians through live music, export, industry development and infrastructure investment, it tackles the regulatory nightmare our industry has faced for over a decade.

In related news:

Berry’s Fairgrounds festival is the latest to announce the new rules would force t to close down or relocate out of the state.

Its director Mark Dodds warned that extra licensing costs would drive small- to medium-size festivals out.

“If the increased cost burden on Fairgrounds is even a fraction of what I’m hearing from industry figures who are being affected this summer, Fairgrounds would simply not be able to return to the region as it has for the last four years,” he said in the South Coast Register.

In December, the event drew 6,000 patrons and pumped near $3 million in the local economy.

Meantime, the Don’t Kill Live Music petition, launched late last week drew 95,975 signatures by the weekend.

Organisers have, as a result of the support, vamped up the target to 150,000.

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