Musos take fight to Parliament 8 Apr 2010
MELBOURNE musicians have turned up the heat on the state Government for failing to deliver on promises to remove high-risk conditions on live music venues.
Performers including Ross Wilson, Mike Rudd, Kram, Clare Bowditch, Angie Hart and 83-year-old Nick Polites presented a petition, signed by 22,000 people, which urges the Government to remove the link in liquor licences between live music and high-risk conditions.
Musicians from SLAM / Fair Go 4 Live Music deliver the petition
It was handed to Greens arts spokeswoman Sue Pennicuik yesterday on the steps of State Parliament, where more than 10,000 music fans marched in a rally six weeks ago.
Ms Pennicuik said the high-risk conditions could be lifted immediately by the Government and she would raise the issue in Parliament next week.
”We all know music doesn’t cause violence. Over the last 20 years we’ve had music venues closing down because of pokie machines, and now we have this condition put on by the Liquor Licensing Commission that equates live music with high-risk ?¢‚Ç¨¬¶ There’s no need for it.”
There were high hopes in the music industry when the Government signed an 11th-hour accord on the eve of the rally. But six weeks on, high-risk conditions remain on many venue licences and musicians are struggling for work.
Broadcaster Jonnie von Goes said that so far the accord was not worth the paper it was printed on. ”Nothing has happened,” he said.
Collingwood’s Tote Hotel, which hopes to reopen with new licensees, and Brunswick’s Lomond Hotel, are two of six hotels that are urgently awaiting reviews of their licences.
”In the accord they said they would expedite the licence rollbacks and have answers within six weeks, but the Lomond’s paperwork is still sitting on [Liquor Licence director] Sue Maclellan’s desk,” says SLAM co-organiser Helen Marcou.
”We imagine it will just sit on her desk until her tenure is up in a few weeks.”
Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson said the licensees would be notified of a decision soon, and he urged the 700 other high-risk venues to apply.
Mr Polites, 83, who still plays clarinet in his jazz band at Carlton’s Clyde Hotel each Sunday, said he had played in venues all over the world because of the leg-up he got in Melbourne.
”We got the chance to really learn how to play our stuff in the small venues. Young people won’t get the opportunity if these rules go through.”
Blaise Adamson, 19, from Geelong band The Houses, said: We can’t let the culture disappear.”