The NSW Parliament is seeking your thoughts on the Music and Arts Economy –

And submissions close on the last day of this month – Wednesday 28 February, so there’s just over a week to go.

The link to lodge a submission is here – Having your say now is really needed.

This is a unique opportunity for you to give direct input into how the government and political parties support the music/arts economy in NSW,

The committee undertaking the review is made up of members of the NSW Upper House from the Liberal Party, Labor Party, Greens and Christian Democratic Party, so they will all learn a great deal from this process.

You don’t need to provide pages and pages of detail – but please –  send an email about your career, musical community, and thoughts about what can be done to improve things for artists and our culture in NSW.

This could include –

  • Your background / experience as a practicing artist / musical education
  • Issues you’ve experienced personally
  • How NSW compares to other parts of the country / globally
  • Any problems with rules and regulations
  • Ideas about funding and where support could be given

About the Inquiry

This inquiry was established on 23 November 2017 to inquire into and report on the music and arts economy in New South Wales.

The website link is here

The media release here

The link to lodge a submission is here

Input is being sought on a range of issues in line with the terms of reference tabled below:


That Portfolio Committee No. 6 – Planning and Environment inquire into and report on the music and arts economy in New South Wales, including regional New South Wales, and in particular:

  1. progress on the implementation of the Government response to the New South Wales Night-Time Economy Roundtable Action Plan
  2. policies that could support a diverse and vibrant music and arts culture across New South Wales,
  3. policies that could support the establishment and sustainability of permanent and temporary venue spaces for music and for the arts,
  4. policy and legislation in other jurisdictions, and options for New South Wales including red tape reduction and funding options, and
  5. any other related matter.


NSW Music Industry Background

  • 2015 research conducted by the University of Tasmania estimates NSW is the largest contributor to the Australian live music industry at $3,623M and 23,207 jobs
  • This is consistent with other research, which has identified NSW as representing approx. 32.1% of the venue-based live music industry (Qld – 23.6%, Vic – 22.0%).
  • A range of NSW government agencies have committed to support the industry, or are responsible for regulating it in some way (Arts NSW – Create in NSW and NSW Creative Industries Action Plan; OLGR, ILGA & NSW Police – Liquor Act 2007; Department of Planning and Environment – EP&A Act 1979; EPA – POEO Act 1994; Office of Industrial Relations – Entertainment Industry Act 2013)
  • Local government implements this legislation, with some creating local strategies to support the sector – City of Sydney, Inner West Council (Leichhardt /Marrickville), Wollongong.
  • There has been a practice of little communication or collaboration between NSW agencies, between levels of government, or between government and industry.
  • This complex policy environment and lack of communication has resulted in misaligned policy and regulation that increases red tape for industry, erodes business confidence and threatens NSW’s place as the national leader.

Terms of Reference

The first action for the Inquiry is to report on progress on the implementation of the Government response to the New South Wales Night-Time Economy Roundtable Action Plan.

  1. In December 2016 the NSW Government tabled its response to the 25 point Report from the Night Time Economy Roundtables held across 2016 in response to issues raised by the Sydney Lockouts. Whilst these are Sydney CBD specific, note the Inquiry Terms of Reference identify Regional NSW as a priority.

Strategic actions for the live music, performance and creative industries from the Sydney Night Time Economy Action Plan supported by the NSW Government include:

  • Develop a Contemporary Music Strategy to provide guidance for live music venues / industry
  • Collaborative marketing to promote gigs and events through an online portal/app
  • Encourage an annual late night event when all state cultural institutions are open
  • Change the language used in communicating with residents and visitors to communicate that ‘Sydney is open for business
  • Develop a night-time economy master plan for Sydney
  • Appoint a lead / champion from within government to be a single point of contact on the strategy
  • Encourage and facilitate the use of vacant commercial spaces and public places for establishing pop-up performance and art offerings
  • Reforms to the planning regulations to provide greater incentives for small, creative start-up businesses and reduce red tape through changes to Exempt and Complying Development and the Building Code of Australia (BCA)

The following 4 items on the inquiry Terms of Reference are seeking input on policies to develop the sector, policies to support venues, red tape and funding options, as well as any other issues that the music community wishes to raise with the NSW Parliament. The following references provide a few points, but don’t feel obliged to get involved here if you aren’t familiar with the details.

Robust strategic plans for the contemporary music sector at the state level are well in place in Victoria and South Australia. Adjacent work has also been undertaken in Queensland by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, in WA, as well as industry drafted plans in the ACT.

From a red tape perspective, NSW has fundamental and recognised problems:

  • Noise /Sound -3 separate regulations creating dysfunction / jurisdiction shopping:
    1. Liquor Act
    2. Protection of the Environment Operations Act  ‘offensive noise’
    3. Environmental Planning and Assessment Act – DA consent conditions
  • Approvals  Duplicate disconnected processes for town planning and liquor licensing

Liquor license application – Public exhibition process

Planning Approval – Public exhibition process

National Construction Code/ Exempt Development. South Australia has a better model.

Looking to funding models across the country for contemporary music – Victoria has the $12.2m Music Works package Western Australia has the $3m Creative Music Fund.

South Australia has the GAMING MACHINES ACT 1992 – SECT 73C  where at least $850 000 must be applied from the Fund in each financial year towards programs that will be of benefit to the live music industry. Arts South Australia receives the $850k from Community Benefits Fund each year as per the Act which is fully expended through Arts South Australia’s Contemporary Music programs

  • Any other related matter:

This is where your own experience and thoughts are so important – You don’t need to deliver a major research project here – speaking to your own experience is what’s needed!