Certainty for Cobargo: Music Festivals Bill passed
The NSW Labor Opposition's amendments to the Music Festivals Bill passed the NSW parliament on Thursday November 14th, 2019, much to the relief of the many Music Festivals around NSW who had been affected, who had closed down or feared having to close down in the year ahed. In making the announcement, NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said "The Government finally voted to support Labor's amendments to the bill which were successfully moved in the Upper House."
"Most importantly, the Government caved in to Labor's demand to establish a Music Festival Roundtable so that the industry will finally have its voice heard and no longer be ignored by the Government.
"The establishment of a Music Festival Roundtable has been the festival industry's key demand," the NSW Labor leader said.
"The Government finally reversed its position in the lower house, however, as late as last night the Government continued to oppose Labor's amendments in the Upper House.
"Music fans in NSW no longer risk missing out on their favourite acts. Major festivals had threatened to leave NSW if the roundtable was not included in the Bill.
Ms McKay said "Labor has finally dragged the Government to the table. It's about time they sat down and actually listened to the festival industry and made this work for everyone."
"Music lovers and the festival industry were rightly worried about a music exodus from NSW if these crucial amendments weren't passed."
“This is a victory for common sense,” said John Graham, Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy.
"This was an eminently reasonable and common-sense request from the festival industry. It is just mind boggling that the Government was so stubborn on this issue, for so long."
“Government can’t do this alone. This puts the industry at the table as equal partners.”
Labor’s roundtable amendment: Establishes a Music Festival Roundtable with equal numbers of government and industry members. It would be tasked with growing the industry, supporting safety at festivals and reviewing evidence and regulation to ensure it is operating effectively. The roundtable would meet at least four times a year, including once at a music festival site. Immediately after this summer festival season the roundtable will conduct a full review of how the government scheme has worked, in order to improve it if necessary. The roundtable was supported by a Parliamentary inquiry, the recent Deputy Coroner’s report, the Counsel Assisting the Ice Commissioner, the Police Commissioner, and government agencies including Liquor and Gaming and NSW Health.