Page 808 - Week 02 - Thursday, 23 February 2012

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MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, I am going to have to further consider this matter. Mr Hanson has raised an interesting point, but I think the rules and precedents on that in this place are a little unclear. I will certainly consider it before the next sitting period so that we can be clearer next time. I am not asking you to withdraw it, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, I just want to talk about the point of order. I was just quoting what was in the newspaper and on the radio, and my experience, so I do not believe that I have actually interpreted anything. I have just quoted what was on the radio.

MR SPEAKER: As I say, I will give this some further thought.

National SLAM day

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (5.42): Today is national SLAM day. For those of you who do not know, that is “save live Australia’s music” day. Why is Australia’s live music in need of saving, you might ask. I guess the first obvious reason is their knowledge of grammar, but if we leave that to one side they were trying for a good acronym.

Why do they need saving? There are lots of reasons, but one of the major reasons is that there is a real shortage of live music venues in which musos can play, in Canberra and throughout the rest of Australia. Live music brings vibrancy to our city and colour to our lives, and it brings joy and pleasure.

According to an APRA report released last year, live music contributes $15.5 million to the ACT economy annually and sustains hundreds of jobs while it does so. Yet despite these many contributions, Canberra is gradually shutting down the smaller venues where grassroots live music is played.

As you will remember, over the last couple of years during this Assembly we have had both a standing committee inquiry into live music events and an interdirectorate committee inquiry into the reduction of barriers to live music, both of which provided a long string of recommendations designed to improve and increase live music in Canberra.

Despite these recommendations, both from the Assembly and from within government processes, there has been little delivery on the ground. One of the key recommendations to which the government committed itself was the creation of a website listing the venues around Canberra suitable for live music. I believe that the creation of this website is funded by the ACT government and is being undertaken by MusicACT, but to date it is not up and running. I draw this to the attention of the government and wonder if they would be able to overcome this delay.

I note that clearly quite a lot of this information is known. If you read the government submission to the education committee’s Fitters Workshop inquiry, you will find that it includes quite a long list of venues that the government feels would be appropriate.

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