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Task force calls for cut in ‘red tape’ to save live music industry

Task force calls for cut in ‘red tape’ to save live music industry
November 20, 2013

With excessive regulation being blamed for a decline in the live music scene across Australia, a Sydney City Council task force is recommending slashing red tape to help venues and artists prosper, and is hoping other councils will follow suit.

Sydney City Council's Live Music Task force has released action plan of 57 recommendations to foster live music in Sydney.

The action plan, is a result of a year worth of consultation and development by the Live Music Task Force. The Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the Taskforce's Chair and live music campaigner John Wardle launched the action plan, and outlined some of the key areas which needed focus, such as development, noise limits, affordable living for musicians, liquor licensing, accessibility and the Building Code of Australia.

The report's key recommendations include the following:

• Appointment of a City Of Sydney live music and performance liaison officer to cut through red tape for venues and establishment of a mediation process

• A review of the Sydney Development Control Plan to protect areas with live music history

• Simplifying the approval process for small, low-risk events

• Pre-emptive advice on noise issues, rather than reactionary punishments

• Provide information on the Building Code Of Australia tailored to live music

• A grant program for venues and organisation wanting to hold all ages events with the City of Sydney

• Making use of unused hotel spaces available for music rehearsals

• Establishment of a new major Sydney outdoor event space

• Advocate for musicians and performers to be included in affordable housing schemes

The Live Music Task Force is made up of industry leaders including Sounds Australia's National Live Music Coordinator Dr Ianto Ware, FBi Radio's General Manager of Music Dan Zilber, APRA AMCOS' Head of Corporate Services Dean Ormston, the developer of Brisbane's Fortitude Vallery precinct Frank Henry, 505 venue co-founder Kerri Glasscock and jazz musician Jonathan Zwartz.

The action plan, and its recommendations, are currently being considered by the Council.

The Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne welcomed the findings, stating "I congratulate the City and the Taskforce members for producing such a ground-breaking report on how to revitalise the live music industry. It's gratifying to see that the Taskforce and Leichhardt Council are thinking along the same lines.

"We are determined to rezone sections of Parramatta road as Sydney's first live music and cultural precinct. The City's taskforce recommendations provide a blueprint for how this vision can be brought to life.

"Leichhardt Council has been working on this concept for over a year, with our Good Neighbour and Parramatta Road Live Music policies already in place."

The report can be viewed at



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