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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2015) . . Page.. 254 ..

(a) live music and events are an integral part of our culture and essential for our increasingly vibrant and culturally diverse community;

(b) the Legislative Assembly inquired into live community events in 2009, and there are still opportunities to implement many of the recommendations; and

(c) as the density of our city and town centres continues to increase, music venues are facing complaints from local residents. We have even had recent examples where daytime jazz music has been prevented within what has become known as a cultural precinct; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to develop a policy and actions to support live events in our community, including but not limited to:

(a) identifying and designating particular areas as entertainment zones which would allow greater flexibility around noise levels;

(b) implementing the principle of order of occupancy, so that residents moving into areas with existing venues are not able to cause the closure of venues;

(c) revising building codes for residential developments in mixed use zones to require acoustic insulation; and

(d) review the impact of the Liquor Act on small venues and music events.

I have brought this motion forward today because over the last few years Canberra has been experiencing a dynamic emergence of live music. Canberra is privileged to have such talented, enthusiastic and collaborative musicians in our town, and it certainly brings great richness to our city. This vibrant music scene adds to the cultural life of Canberra, it is helping to keep creative people here and it is building on the work of educational institutions—for example, the School of Music and events management courses at CIT.

Live music contributes to a creative city and a more livable, innovative and prosperous city. It helps create a cycle where highly skilled people are attracted to the ACT, who in turn reinforce the growth and prosperity of our city. Live music contributes significantly to the economic life of Canberra. This includes the employment of musicians, teachers, instrument retailers, venue staff, promoters, and people providing food and beverages and transport. With strategic support and the removal of barriers, Canberra can become a unique centre for music, similar to the way that the city has become an internationally recognised centre for glassworks.

However, the live music scene in Canberra is facing a number of immediate challenges, particularly the growing conflict between live music and encroaching residential development, and a lack of suitable venues. High level support and direction are required to address these issues. The government, and the Assembly as a whole, needs to explicitly recognise the significant role live music plays in the cultural life and economy of the ACT, and we need to commit to active support and removal of barriers to live music.

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