Newcastle has come one step closer to saving its live music scene after Newcastle City Council voted unanimously last week to adopt a number of measures to protect the industry.
Among a suite of measures will be the creation of the Newcastle Live Music Industry Advisory Group, which will seek to work with all levels of government to develop industry-related policies.
Councillor Carol Duncan welcomed the swift action, and said it was “just fantastic” that “the notice of motion was unanimously supported by the council”.
“It was great to see so many members of our local music industry joining us in the chamber,” she added.
The taskforce will now be established in partnership with the NSW Office of Live Music and MLC Hon. John Graham, who has been responsible for a number of state music round-tables.
For this to be truly effective it must be worked on at all levels of government.Carol Duncan, councillor
Carol Duncan said the key to the future of Newcastle’s night time economy – estimated to be worth $1.4 billion per year – is to rely on “invaluable input from members of the scene”.
“When we form this advisory group for the taskforce, we must have people involved who can work with all three tiers of government on policy development ... to supporting the growth of the industry,” Duncan said.
“The representatives will be people like artists, venue operators, music industry businesses, local government, educational and training representatives and state government officials.
“We know have to look at how we can work with the NSW Office of Live Music for that taskforce to contain the appropriate and interested representatives from the live music industry.
“We are not just looking at what we can do here in local council, but for this to be truly effective it must be worked on at all levels of government, whether it be in the form of funding or legislative change.”
The council will include a commitment to live music in the next iteration of the Community Strategic Plan, as well as a detailed live music plan in its draft Newcastle After Dark Night-time Economy Strategy.
The council will also make changes to S149 certificates to give consideration to “acoustic privacy conditions”, and has resolved to develop a process to make council owned venues, such as the Civic Playhouse and City Hall Banquet Room, available to host all-ages gigs.