Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4021 ..
also, I believe, need to ensure that we evolve our expectations over time as to what is an acceptable level of noise. I note that we had complaints not just about live events but about garbage being collected and about the patrons of live events. This is an area that we as a community need to do more work on.
On that note, let me say that I would be interested in the new eastern broadacre study looking to see if there was any space there which could be used as a live music precinct. It could be an interesting idea—not so much to get it out of the way, but to give it a space where there will not be the restrictions there are in other places in Canberra. Manchester in the UK provides an interesting precedent of somewhere where live music precincts have evolved in industrial areas and into a lively music scene. But a key to this would be good public transport, which could be the undoing of any use of the eastern broadacre.
On the issue of transport, I would draw the Assembly’s attention to page 60 of the report and the section on transport. Transport is, of course, a critical part of protecting Canberra’s live events scene, especially as a lot of it happens at night, and also as a lot of it happens in conjunction with alcohol consumption.
Recommendation 25 of the committee recommends that the ACT government investigate the viability of extending ACTION’s Nightrider service all year round on Friday and Saturday nights. We know that this is needed. I am very glad that it was a tripartisan agreement. We all know that it is needed. Mr Rattenbury has been talking about the need for this service specifically this week in the context of the Liquor Bill, which I understand is coming back before the Assembly later today.
I believe that late night public transport is critical to support live music and events, to ensure the safety of patrons and to ensure that the whole licensed venue industry continues. The committee was able to cite the experience of Fortitude Valley, where transport was an extremely important factor in making live entertainment work—in contrast to Canberra, where, to quote the AHA, “Canberra’s public transport system is almost non-existent, particularly late at night.”
The last point I will make concerns the recommendation around the liquor licensing regime. The committee specifically points out the importance of fees needing to remain affordable and the fact that liquor licensing recommendations should not consider live music to be an additional risk factor. This recently caused a calamity in Melbourne when it did this, and it ended up with a sharp increase in fees for live music venues.
In my very brief conclusion, I would like to point out that this work needs to continue. I understand that there is an IDC and a live music forum. This is an area of our communal work life which is very important. It needs to be fostered. It is a significant part of actually making a community in Canberra or any other city—having live events which we all share in, which we all participate in. It is important that there is support for a wide diversity of live events. It is one of the things that make a city great. It is one of the things that make a city fun and lively to live in. I commend the report to the Assembly. (Time expired.)