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LPA calls on NSW Premier to halt new regulations until proper industry consultation undertaken
Live Performance Australia has released an open letter sent to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling for a “response to the live music industry’s request for a pause on implementation of the new Music Festival licensing scheme and immediately move to convene a roundtable with all the relevant parties, including industry representatives, to cooperate on a workable plan.”
Following a spate of drug-related festival deaths, the NSW Government’s planned legislation to improve event safety, due to become law on 1st March, has been developed without industry consultation.
Live Performance Australia (LPA) and prominent festival organisers are deeply critical of this.
Released today, the letter, from LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson goes on to state “the festivals industry needs certainty and confidence about the government's expectations. The process to date has been ad hoc and poorly handled - leading to confusion and uncertainty among festival organisers. There are still many unanswered questions.
“We are asking you to pause the implementation of new licensing requirements until there has been a proper consultation involving all industry bodies and key stakeholders i.e. music festival owners, regulators, medical experts, emergency services and law enforcement agencies.
“We can't rely on the ad hoc assurances given through media in response to representations from a festival operator which have further confused the situation.
“The best safety outcomes will be achieved by the government working with industry on policies and procedures that are effective and transparent - not through poorly designed regulations that are imposed without consultation.
“The Government must work with the industry - not against it. We are ready to help through a properly managed consultation process, but the current arrangements must be shelved, and any new arrangements developed and implemented properly.”
The recently formed Australian Festival Association - whose membership including the Splendour In The Grass, Laneway, Groovin The Moo and Laneway events - on Tuesday implored the NSW Government to only roll out the new festival licenses as a trial, so events could adjust to the new laws gradually.
LPA is the peak body for Australia’s live performance industry and cites “a clear mandate to advocate for and support policy decisions that benefit the sustainability and growth of the live performance industry in Australia”.
Images: Jimmy Cliff performs at Bluesfest Byron Bay in 2018 (top) and Defqon.1 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (below).
9th February 2019 - Second NSW music festival cancelled in a week
7th February 2019 - Psyfari organisers end event citing NSW Government’s ‘war on festivals’
24th January 2019 - Australian Festival Association launched to create ‘world-leading’ standards
20th January 2019 - NSW Government to require licensing of music festivals after drug deaths
18th January 2019 - Leading medical body calls for pill testing trials at Australian festivals
16th September 2018 - NSW Premier vows to ban Sydney music festival after drug deaths
25th October 2018 - Live Performance industry breaks all records through 2017
30th November 2018 - LPA welcomes Labor Plans on Ticketing and Music
16th November 2017 - Live Performance Australia passes 100 year operational landmark
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