NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley says he wants “NSW to get its verve back.”

Daley and Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy John Graham today launched Labor’s policy plan for music venues.

The move follows years of crippling regulation which saw 176 venues close in the past four years due to laws and red tape, eventuating in what the Labor party is calling a “venue crisis”.

A NSW Parliamentary inquiry was established earlier this month, and found that 669 liquor licences imposed conditions that either banned or restricted live entertainment.

The “right to play” music venue policy from the Daley Labor Government will act to:

  • Amend the Liquor Act to introduce the “right to play” and create a new class of licence specifically for venues dedicated to live entertainment;
  • Create a one-stop shop for both venues and residents to deal with noise complaints, and streamline the complex regulations that govern noise from live venues;
  • Establish a single process for venues to obtain planning and liquor approvals to significantly reduce wait times for venues and provide the community with a simple comprehensive process for consultation;
  • Create a Minister for Music and Night Time Economy, and hold regular roundtable discussions for the Night Time Economy;
  • Conduct a census to establish the number of venues, musicians and performances that take place at any given time in NSW; and
  • Provide practical assistance for venues with a new $1.2 million programme to venues to assist with soundproofing.

“These measures are good for venues, good for residents. They should provide practical help for venues, but make government processes more open for residents,” said NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley.

the hon john-graham-mlc labor
The Hon. John GRAHAM, MLC

John Graham MLC formed Labor Loves Live Music in 2012, following his concerns about a loss of venues.

“Too often it is a case of ‘another one bites the dust’ – one more venue lost to overdevelopment and overregulation,” said Graham.

“These measures are supported by a number of bipartisan recommendations of the 2018 NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the Music and Arts Economy.”

Additional to the new policy, Labor has promised to conduct an independent census of live venues every two years. The statistics around the number of venues, performances, working musicians, and hospitality workers will inform policy decisions on the sector.