Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner, Tim Levinson (aka Urthboy), Brooke McClymont of The McClymonts brought some star power to Monday’s (March 26) NSW parliamentary inquiry into the music and arts economy.

The NSW Music Inquiry received 394 submissions, from APRA AMCOS to the Live Music Office and Music NSW, and many more, and was formed last November to take a closer look at the state government’s efforts in reviving Sydney’s nightlife following the implementation of unpopular lockout laws to tackle alcohol-related violence.

Faulkner said the lockout laws were “ridiculous”

Speaking at the completion of the all-day session, Faulkner called on governments to “stop destroying music venues by red tape.”

The ARIA Hall of Famer also warned that councils were allowing “vexatious residents” to “basically hound” venues. Citing the regulatory struggles faced by the iconic Annandale Hotel, he noted, “One resident drove that venue to extinction.”

During the formal proceedings, APRA’s incoming CEO Dean Ormston, ARIA CEO Dan Rosen and MusicNSW chair Professor Julian Knowles and other music professionals delivered insights, particularly on the state of live music and songwriters and musicians running as small businesses.

Dean Ormston called for a plan for growth and sustainability

In summary, said Ormston, “we think the New South Wales government must develop and invest substantially in a state based contemporary music strategy recognising both cultural and economic priorities. There needs to be a plan for growth and sustainability. There needs to be a champion in government to ensure there is regulatory streaming and red tape reduction and there needs to be cross government and agency collaboration and cooperation and specifically we think there needs to be the development of a night time economy masterplan for not only Sydney but other larger regional centres.”

The NSW Legislative Council last November voted to start the examination into the music and arts economy in Sydney and regional NSW and identify policies that that could support a “diverse and vibrant music and arts culture” across the state. The inquiry heard evidence as Sydney’s oldest licenced music venue, The Basement, announced it would close its doors and make way for development of the famous spot.

Image Source: Labor Loves Live Music