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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 May 2007) . . Page.. 1151 ..

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Live music

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (10.31): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) acknowledges that live music should be accorded a recognised cultural value;

(2) recognises the importance of:

(a) live music and live music venues to the Canberra community; and

(b) protecting live music venues in Canberra; and

(3) requests the Government investigate ways of ensuring the protection of live music venues in Canberra.

Every weekend Canberra’s pubs, bars and clubs play host to regional, interstate and international acts. They do this because music is key to a cultured society, and live music is the ultimate form of expression for many artists. From Tuggeranong to Belconnen and Weston to the city centre, live music venues host a diverse range of performers who add to the colour and flavour of Canberra.

However, increases to the residential population in inner north and south Canberra suburbs, along with demographic and land use changes, make these areas more mixed in character. This is an exciting new era in Canberra urban development. However, there can be conflict—and there has been—between residential and other land uses as a consequence of these changes. This difficulty facing live music in Canberra is a result of the collision of the needs of musicians, live music venues, their patrons and neighbouring residents. The fragile relationship between residents and venues has long been the topic of community debate. Unfortunately Canberra’s live music venues such as Gypsy Bar have had to close as a result of the inability to conciliate to find solutions that address the conflicting interests in this debate.

This motion seeks to bring to the attention of the Assembly the important issues that arise as a result of this conflict. For Canberra to grow as a cultural capital, as a harmonious community, it is necessary that respect is given to live music for the cultural value it brings.

In an age of increasing consumerism, some argue that live music, particularly that of newly established acts, has no place in the music scene; that music is to be consumed at the fastest pace by the fastest means; that live music is a thing of the past and we should accordingly pack up the stage and replace it with a stereo that beats out the top 40; and that culture and artistic expression are being replaced with bubblegum

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