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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1873..


venue managers, teachers, DJs and writers. At the forum a very strong view came forward that there are changes we could make in how we organise the city, and programs that we could reasonably expect government to fund to support live music and performance.

Not all the answers lie with government, by any means. It was also agreed at the forum that collaborative marketing and a more sophisticated approach to promotion are needed and that such an approach would need to be taken on by the industry itself. It was also acknowledged in the various reports and at the forum that today's entertainment environment is very different from the 1980s and that we should not imagine that a few new planning laws could bring back the halcyon days of "pub rock"or even that we would want that to happen. The point of this motion, however, is to call on the government to explore a whole-of-government approach to encouraging live music. You might notice that it calls on the government to consult the stakeholders, ask for options for legislative change and to report back in August.

This might seem like a fairly gentle approach but the detail of the issues is quite complex and trying to push through a raft of subtle changes without enthusiasm or support from government agencies is probably guaranteed to fail. As I understand it, there were some government officers present at the forum and they took the concerns that came from the community to the government. I understand the government is quite supportive and interested in the whole issue. I think this motion will ensure that government will explore what is possible with a coherent approach and give us in the Assembly the option of leaving that responsibility in government hands thereafter or pursuing it ourselves here or at the election. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (9.02): The government certainly supports the sentiment of the motion and, I guess, the motion itself. We are all aware of the value of live contemporary music to our young people and to the community more broadly. Indeed, the economic white paper that Mr Quinlan presented so well recognises the importance of retaining young people in Canberra. Research has revealed that one of the key reasons young people leave here is because they do not think the place is lively enough.

As arts minister I firmly believe that a vibrant live contemporary music scene is essential in enlivening Canberra. It is important to note that Canberra does have a very active live contemporary music scene, although I confess it is not a scene I attend to particularly. You might be aware of the BMA magazine. There is seemingly a vast number of bands, most of which, although not all, are local. Every Thursday we get the Times Out supplement in the Canberra Times that tells us of all the gigs that are on. Our own consultations with young people have revealed that their attendance at and participation in live contemporary music is affected firstly by the paucity of events for under 18s-the younger people-the affordability of events, noise restrictions and the affordability of insurance. None of these issues is unique to the ACT but we need to address them.

The government already supports young people's access to live contemporary music through a number of avenues, some of which include the youth services branch. They have agreements with a number of non-government youth service providers that provide support to young people to practise and perform live music at a range of youth centre


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