Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has condemned the NSW Government for fast-tracking new festival licencing regulations without consultation of local councils.
It’s expected Cr Bradery will use his Mayoral Minute at Monday night’s council meeting to discuss the “war on festivals”, which will see new regulations come into play on March 1.
The regulations are still being finalised but will be policed by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA), while requirements for festivals deemed “high risk” could be quite onerous and expensive.
A cookie-cutter approach is not going to work and and it’s going to damage the opportunities we have for our local music festivals. It’s jeopardizing tens of millions of dollars coming into the local economy.Cr Gordon Bradbery
The regulations are in response to several drug related deaths at recent events, though Cr Bradbery has called it an “over reaction”.
“The premier ... needs to sit down with the stakeholders and look at a more robust way of dealing with live music events,” he told the Mercury.
“A cookie-cutter approach is not going to work and it’s going to damage the opportunities we have for our local music festivals.
“It’s jeopardizing tens of millions of dollars coming into the local economy. ”
Cr Bradbery wants the state government to put the guidelines on hold until further engagement and feedback is sought from all stakeholders (including council and festival organisers); for ILGA to liaise with Wollongong Council prior to framing the new legislation; and for various agencies to develop “financially sustainable” industry standards for user pays policing and medical services at events.
At this point Councils have not been invited to attend a briefing on this issue ... This is concerning given that music festivals are tourist attractors and economic drivers for Wollongong and the Illawarra.Cr Bradbery's address
The petition demands the government convene a music round table to review regulation affecting live music, be more transparent on policing and medical bills and work with the industry to keep festivals safe.
A public rally is being held at Hyde Park in Sydney on Thursday at 6pm with festival organisers, artists, touring agents, promoters and music fans to be in attendance.
To sign the Don’t Kill The Music petition CLICK HERE