13.05.2019

NSW Labor moves motion to repeal strict music festival regulations

Music festival
Words by Caleb Triscari
Photography by Steven Arnold

The New South Wales Labor opposition has moved a motion in the state’s legislative council to repeal the Berejiklian Government’s music festival licensing scheme. The regulations have copped a lot of flak since being introduced back in February.

The motion was introduced by Labor’s shadow minister for music, John Graham. In a post on Facebook, Graham said there was little consultation with the music festival industry before the regulations were put in place.

“Not one Minister from this government has met with the festival industry to discuss the new job-killing music festival regulation. That’s not good enough,” Graham said.

“That’s why I have moved to disallow the regulation in the Parliament and called on the new Minister to do what his predecessor couldn’t manage: to sit down and talk this through.”

The Australian Festival Association, whose members include Splendour in the Grass, Groovin the Moo and Download Australia, said only two festival organisers were invited to give feedback when these regulations were considered.

In order for the motion to be passed, however, Labor will need the green light from seven crossbenchers. As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Labor is hoping to get an alliance of Greens, Animal Justice and independent MPs on board, in addition to the support of one of the more conservative parties, such as Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

The regulations were introduced in response to a number of drug-related deaths at music festivals over the summer. There are currently 14 festivals labelled as high risk, including Subsonic, This That and Defqon.1. Being classified as a high risk events means organisers need to pay for additional security and medical personnel on site.