Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2015) . . Page.. 264 ..

Like many people in Canberra, I grew up listening to live music. I went to venues to listen to bands like Midnight Oil, Australian Crawl, ACDC, the Divinyls, Living End and the Angels, and I could go on. These were bands that I enjoyed at venues in the ACT, not in big convention centres or sportsgrounds but at pubs and clubs and other small venues across the ACT. Tomorrow night, at the risk of being uncool and embarrassing my children, I will not be able to disguise that I will be starstruck by Justice Crew and the UK’s Z-Star, who will be the headline acts leading the National Multicultural Festival.

We are really lucky in the ACT to be small enough to be so close to our idols but large enough to be able to attract both local and international artists. Former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett launched Labor loves live music in 2012 in support of music venues in Melbourne. Because of this campaign, many small venues were saved. They are working on a good neighbour policy to help residents mediate between residents and live venues.

Canberra should be a place where high quality music performances can be enjoyed and where our children can learn to play and appreciate live music. There are places for our local bands to play, bands like Gravel Rash, a local regular at places like the Basement in Belconnen. We have our own amazing musicians that we need to celebrate who recently were in the top 100 of Triple J’s hottest 100—Peking Duk at No 2 and No 5, and their song at No 5 Take Me Over included another ACT artist, SAFIA, at No 96.

For governments and regulators the challenge is to strike the balance in an urban environment which protects privacy but also nurtures community activity. I am a firm believer that live music continues to grow our city and make it a more vibrant entertainment culture. As Canberra’s artistic community continues to flourish, striking this balance in a way which encourages participation in events is important.

As this community has evolved, it has done so in a decentralised way which reflects the layout of our city. The music venues in different town centres and in some residential areas include the Basement and the Pot Belly in Belconnen, the Lighthouse and the Ha Ha Bar at Emu Bank, the Front in Lyneham, the Greenroom in Woden, which sadly closed a few years ago, the Polish White Eagle Club in Turner, hopefully to reopen soon, and the Tuggeranong Youth Centre, home to many events for young Canberrans.

These are some of the gems of Canberra’s community life and many were on show during the centenary party at the shops. They nurture creativity and participation. They showcase the talents of Canberrans and add to the livability we all value in this city.

If we take a look through the lens of social inclusion and equality, there are strong arguments that community events contribute to these goals. That is why it is important that the ACT government supports these venues and the events that they hold, and the development of new policy is a timely step to take.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video