Night Time Inquiry Highlights The Hard Work Ahead For Sydney

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2019

APRA AMCOS welcomes the Joint Select Committee’s report into Sydney’s night-time economy, acknowledging the recommendations to foster a safe night time economy by removing unnecessary restrictions on live music, encouraging small bars, the adoption of the Live Music Venues Good Neighbour Policy and for investment and support of cultural activity in the city.

In particular APRA AMCOS applauds the Committee’s recommendation for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to investigate the adoption of provisions to allow the designation of entertainment precincts to support existing venues and encourage the establishment of new live music venues.

“The release of the Joint Select Committee’s report highlights the long road ahead to repair the liveability, night time economy and cultural activities of Sydney as a global city,” said Dean Ormston CEO, APRA AMCOS.

“What Sydney needs is for the whole of the NSW Government to commit to a vision for Sydney as a globally vibrant and liveable city. Without an agreed vision, Sydney's brand as an internationally vibrant city remains at risk. We should set our sights high for Sydney and for what makes it unique.

“With the publication of this report the hard work has only just begun. What’s urgently required is a catalyst and broad based strategy to support existing live music venues while also incentivising the development of new venues, whether they be in existing cultural institutions, restaurants, small bars or in new exciting spaces.

“The Inquiry into the NSW music economy last year provided a roadmap for NSW to reclaim the state’s critical role as a true international hub of music and culture in the region. We call on the Government to implement its sixty recommendations as a priority.

APRA AMCOS also urges the City of Sydney to pursue the development of an entertainment precinct for the city, as the ‘agent of change’ principle may not encourage the development of new live music venues. APRA AMCOS data shows that there has been a 50 per cent decline in venues primarily dedicated to live music in the City of Sydney local government area since 2014.

“The city and the state’s policy settings and investment with industry needs to evolve significantly if Sydney and NSW is going to remain part of the national success story of Australian music,” Mr Ormston said.

“Not only must the NSW Government develop a whole-of-government partnership approach to ensure the live music industry achieves its potential, there must be the designation of cultural precincts to help foster the creation of new venues.

“It is never too late. The diversity of talent in Sydney is extraordinary and punches well above its weight on the international stage. By investing in talent and removing over-regulation and red tape, Sydney could be a place where artists have sustainable careers, venues are viable and the community becomes the beneficiary of a vibrant local music culture.

“The NSW Government can help us repair the damage by getting the balance between community safety, health and regulation right. APRA AMCOS is ready to assist the Government in the development and fostering of NSW’s music talent to ensure that Sydney has a diverse, safe and vibrant night-time economy that showcases the very best this state has to offer.

“We thank the Committee for the hard work and consideration of APRA AMCOS’ submission and testimony as part of this inquiry,” Mr Ormston said.

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