Live licensing woes: Labor pushes to investigate NSW festival scheme
The NSW parliament could launch a public inquiry into the state government’s controversial music festival licensing scheme.
Labor’s shadow minister for music John Graham has referred the regulations to the Legislative Council’s Regulation Committee for a formal investigation.
If the House green-lights it, the committee will conduct a short public inquiry into the impact of the regulations to report to Parliament by August 6.
This would allow members of the live music sector to directly address their concerns and criticisms to MPs and suggest alternatives – something which it says the premier’s office was not responsive to.
Graham said: “These regulations have caused concern right across Australia’s music industry.
“Major touring groups have raised the prospect that damaging the NSW festival industry could see high profile artists avoid Australia altogether.
“That is bad news for music fans in Melbourne or Brisbane.
“This inquiry presents the chance to make sure that the government is finally engaging with the concerns that the industry is raising.”
A rally in Sydney against the introduction of the new rules drew 20,000 punters in February.
The toxic culture created by their introduction saw a number of festivals close (the latest being Northern Beaches Music in April) or, like Rabbits Eat Lettuce, shift to Queensland.
Bluesfest Byron Bay is said to be talking to government bodies in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
The music industry will issue a response to the inquiry later today.