AUSTRALIA (CelebrityAccess) Several Australian industyr bodies have reportedly supported the efforts of the country’s Labor party to scrap NSW’s controversial festival regulations.
A statement from the Australian Festival Association, which represents Live Performance Australia, Musc NSW and the Association of Artists Managers, among other entities, applauded the motion.
“We applaud Labor’s delivery on its promise to move a disallowance motion to enable proper industry consultation on measures to improve safety at music festivals and ensure a bright and sustainable future for music festivals in NSW,” the statement reads.
“The industry want to sit down with the NSW Government and develop a more workable and sensible regulatory approach to safety at festivals. The Government has again been presented with the opportunity to properly consult with industry groups and festival organisers on safety issues.
“If Premier Berejiklian is serious about festival safety, she will acknowledge the original regulations were rushed through without industry consultation and only achieved a dramatic increase in costs to festival organisers and fans and forced the cancellation or relocation of events without delivering a meaningful safety improvement.
“Music festivals are a vital contributor to the economic and cultural vibrancy of NSW, especially in regional and rural areas. The Premier now has another opportunity to get it right on festival safety. The live music industry also calls on all members of the Upper House to support the motion.”
Labor’s Shadow Minister for Music, John Graham, moved the motion in the NSW Legislative Council last week in hopes of repealing the government’s new regulations, according to The Music.
The move comes as the NSW Government makes changes to the list of festivals deemed “high risk.” Although at least two festivals, Days Like This, Up Down and This That, have been removed from the list, others are expected to be added to the list soon.
“We are calling on the Government to scrap this current approach and start again,” Graham said. “They should go back to the drawing board, consult with the festival industry and come back with a regulatory regime that has been worked through collaboratively with industry.
“I call on Minister Dominello to do what his predecessor failed to do, and meet with the industry. Festival safety issues are simply too important for government and industry not to work together.”
The Australian Festival Association disparaged the regulations when they were announced in February, calling it a “fiasco” and saying the government selected festivals for the list “without assessment guidelines, and only alerted the festival organisers by SMS last night just before announcing the news via a late-night press release.”
In February, the government released a list of 14 festivals that it considers high risk based on drug deaths and illnesses. The music industry learned of the new regulations put upon festivals like Laneway and Lost Paradise via a text message on a Friday night. Promoter Michael Coppel called it a “hit list” and “inconsistent and completely untenable.”