Wollongong City Council will set up a community-led taskforce to develop a live music policy as part of an overall cultural plan for the city.
Councillors last night voted unanimously to back Cr Ann Martin's motion calling for staff to develop a plan to help guide cultural activities throughout the city.
As part of the motion, councillors agreed to take on board a recommendation from Wollongong music advocate Jessie Hunt, who suggested the council set up a community panel to develop a live music protocol for the CBD and Wollongong's suburbs.
Ms Hunt said live music represented "grass roots cultural innovation" and had the potential to revitalise the city centre and create a vibrant night economy.
However, she said venue operators were often faced with over-policing and poor implementation of policies.
"These venues are the centre of cultural industry in Wollongong ... the council needs to protect and foster the live music sector, and musicians and police need to work together," she said.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery acknowledged the friction between police and venue owners, saying he believed police had not handled recent matters with venues "appropriately or sensitively".
"I'm not police bashing [but] licensing policy needs to be handled better," he said.
Meantime, Labor councillor Janice Kershaw said anything the council could do to for the live music industry in the city was beneficial.
"Not only does it promote economic growth ... its flow-on effects are multiple," she said.
Councillors agreed to set up the taskforce with a view to including musicians, police representatives, council staff and venue operators on the panel.
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