Australia’s peak live music industry bodies today called again on NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to immediately convene an industry roundtable after a meeting with Minister Dominello failed to provide certainty for the industry.
Live Performance Australia’s Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson, said, ”The industry has, since February, repeatedly called for establishment of an industry roundtable to work together to ensure safety at music festivals for all patrons.
“While Minister Dominello confirmed at a meeting with us that he will during the second reading of the draft Bill publicly commit to ongoing industry consultation, it was made clear that this would only occur after the legislation was passed, with no industry input.
“We believe the government needs to commit to establishing an industry roundtable that would bring together representatives of the festivals and live music sector together with government representatives from tourism, police, health, liquor and gaming, and the arts to ensure there is ongoing formal consultation in the short and long-term. This is best practice and is reflected in other jurisdictions around the world including in Victoria.
“At the very least, this should be reflected in the new legislation. The roundtable needs to happen quickly and certainly before the summer break.
”Music festivals are a cornerstone of NSW’s cultural fabric and they also support thousands of jobs and economic activity in our cities, regional centres and country towns.
”The music festival sector is worth $100 million nationally and NSW currently has the largest market share with more than 50 percent of those revenues generated in NSW. Last year in NSW, more than 400, 000 people attended a music festival, that’s 43 percent of the national figure. And 20, 000 more than the year before.
“It would be a major blow for fans, artists and all those people in communities across NSW who benefit culturally and economically from music festivals, if we were to see music festivals forced to leave.
“The industry’s aim has always been to work with government to develop a more workable regulatory framework for improving safety at festivals. The draft legislation in its current form is unworkable. However, we believe a music industry roundtable where both government and industry work together can support our shared objectives. Failing that we call on the parliament to reject the legislation,” she said.