Last minute talks between NSW premier and music industry fail
The music industry has failed in last-minute talks to convince NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian to delay the March 1 introducing of the new festival law.
A new coalition made up of the Australian Festival Association (AFA), Live Performance Australia, Music NSW, APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office attended the meetings.
However, the premier’s stance is that the new rules will come into effect, as planned, but the government is open to consultation.
The music industry had wanted a consultation to take place before the rules.
The AFA issued a statement: “Despite the industry’s willingness to work constructively with government on these issues, the premier’s approach to the festival industry has been an uncooperative and heavy-handed ‘put up or shut down’.
“Following a meeting yesterday with advisers, we have been informed the government will not change its position on the implementation of new licensing rules from next Friday.
“By refusing to consult properly with industry, as opposed to the disorganised and inadequate process it has run to date, the premier now seems to be determined to shut down some of our best festivals for the sake of a quick media headline.”
The statement continued: “We urge the government to come to the table with a commitment to genuine and extensive consultation that includes a commitment to defer the 1 March start date for the new licensing requirements so we can understand the economic, cultural and operational impacts of the new regulations.
“The festival industry will be stepping up its campaign on this to make people aware of what is at stake for our music industry as well as business and tourism across the state, and will be urging all parties at the upcoming NSW election to support policies which deliver certainty for the future of music festivals in NSW.”