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Regulatory reform will reimagine NSW LIVE Music and Entertainment Economy

APRA AMCOS and Live Music Office have released the following announcement following the exciting changes in regulations around live music activity in NSW:


The biggest overhaul of regulations around live music and cultural activity in NSW in a generation passed through the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament last night with coordinated changes to the Liquor Act, Planning Act, Local Government Act, the Building Code as well as emergency COVID-19 placemaking for food, drink and entertainment activation.
“APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office have long advocated that one of the major keys to supporting the Australian music industry’s global success is for the removal of unnecessary and complex regulations on live music,” said Dean Ormston, CEO APRA AMCOS.

“For decades, regulations in NSW have had a strangle-hold on live music and cultural activity. These days are now passed and both APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office are proud to have been instrumental in working on these reforms with the NSW Parliament.

“The changes passed last night will support small businesses, live music and cultural venues to get back up on their feet once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Crucially, the objective of the liquor act will now include the need to consider employment opportunities for live music, arts and cultural activity.

“These changes will also see the creation of special entertainment precincts to encourage live music and cultural activity in city centres and regions throughout NSW. From the City of Sydney to Local Governments across metropolitan and regional NSW, Councils will be able unlock the potential of local economic areas.

“All these changes will help support small businesses and drive an economic recovery across the state, and importantly, getting musicians back to work,” Dean Ormston said.

The amendments to liquor licensing, planning and local government legislation include provisions to:

“The bipartisan support for the changes represents a new and vital collaboration between the Government, Opposition, cross-bench MPs and industry to once and for all get behind local music and cultural activity that also balance community expectations,” said John Wardle from the Live Music Office.

“In particular, we commend the work of Customer Services Minister Victor Dominello, Planning Minister Rob Stokes, Jobs, Investment and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres, Opposition spokesperson for Music and the Night Time Economy John Graham and Greens spokesperson for the arts Cate Faehrmann,” he said.

“These monumental changes represent the best opportunity for the NSW Government to pursue statewide place-making strategies through the Department of Planning and the 24-Hour Economy Strategy of Treasury and Global NSW.

“As well as this, these reforms will allow local government areas like Sydney, the Inner West and other key metropolitan and regional centres to finally get rid of outdated entertainment conditions, establish entertainment precincts, and get on with the work of refreshing their planning controls to foster live music and cultural activity for the benefit of their local communities and visitors.”

Similar reforms have been overseen by states and territories around the country including the development of entertainment precincts in Queensland, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, live music licensing incentives in the Northern Territory and planning controls in South Australia and Victoria.

Research shows that live music provides $16 billion worth of economic, cultural and social benefit to the nation, with every dollar spent on live music providing three dollars’ worth of benefits returned to the wider community.

As well as this, live music provides a vital benefit to associated industries including hospitality, tourism and regional economic development, fostering safe night time economy activity.

Tourism Research Australia data shows, investment in music and cultural events has one of the greatest impacts in increasing regional visitation. Music, in particular, is one of the highest value events that can drive overnight trips and provide a competitive advantage to regional areas.