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News June 11, 2024

Queensland Gov’t to Appoint Nighttime Economy Commissioner

Queensland Gov’t to Appoint Nighttime Economy Commissioner

The Sunshine State will get a nighttime boss.

Ahead of the publication today (June 11) of the Queensland Budget, state premier Steven Miles confirmed the government’s commitment to forge a new role for a Nighttime Economy Commissioner.

“I know small businesses are doing it tough and none more so than arts businesses and live music venues, which are the lifeblood of precincts and communities across the state,” Miles said Monday.

The appointee would be tasked with liaising with music businesses, live venues and more across Queensland, and paid for from the public purse. 

“A thriving and safe night time economy means a thriving city– one that keeps our young and brightest in good jobs, delivering for Queensland,” Miles continued, the AAP reports.

The creation of a night czar is the domestic industry’s worst-kept secret, a pre-election pledge to a community still smarting from the loss this year of Caloundra Music Festival and the imminent closure of the legendary live music venue The Zoo, in the heart of the Fortitude Valley entertainment precinct.

“We welcome today’s announcement from the Queensland Government that a dedicated Nighttime Economy Commissioner will be appointed and look forward to seeing what other assistance will be included in the State budget,” reads a statement from QMusic, the trade body that produces Bigsound and the Queensland Music Awards.

QMusic has been in talks with the premier and various ministers “about possible industry support for a number of months,” the statement continues, :and we will update you with any further developments for members and our wider community once more information is announced.”

A night life commissioner would be expected to continue the work of New South Wales24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues, appointed in 2021, and similar functions created farther afield, including Amsterdam and London.

With a state election scheduled for Oct. 26, Queensland and its political parties are a hive of activity right now. The cost-of-living crisis, the demise of The Zoo, Caloundra Music Fest and the dispute over Brisbane’s stadiums for the 2032 Olympic Games, particularly the back-and-forth on plans for the Gabba, will be among the political footballs bouncing about as voters head to the polls.

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