News May 31, 2019

NSW music festival inquiry now green-lighted

NSW music festival inquiry now green-lighted
Image: Defqon.1 festival has been cancelled

Labor NSW’s call for an inquiry into the state’s controversial festival licence regime, as reported in TMN, has taken a step forward.

The Berejiklian government has agreed to formally investigate its own regulations.

Shadow minister for music John Graham, who initiated the referral, to the Legislative Council’s Regulation Committee, for public inquiry, says that means the investigation is now green-lighted.

Now, the controversial regulations will be listed as an item for the committee’s first meeting, which is expected to occur shortly.

The inquiry will allow the festival industry to come and put their case directly to MPs and propose a new approach.

Graham said: “This is a welcome next step and I encourage members of the festival industry and the public to make submissions.

“Just 91 days after introducing them and the government has supported referring its own regulations to a committee for review.

“We welcome the government’s change of heart on this ill-thought-out, heavy-handed approach.”

Defqon.1 joined the list of festivals cancelled or postponed in NSW since the government made alternations to festival licensing laws.

Other festivals to go under and blame the regulations include Psyfari and Mountain Sounds, while Bluesfest organisers have flagged the real possibility of leaving NSW in the future.

The committee will report to Parliament by August 6.

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