NSW Labor promises arts boost

Labor is promising regional NSW a comprehensive arts and culture policy as part of its pitch to voters for the upcoming State election and has committed to improving the live music situation for the state.

It commits to improving support for regional arts and culture by:

  • Doubling the Regional Cultural Fund to $200 million;

  • Providing improved funding for public libraries in country towns; and

  • Introducing a $40 million Regional Conservatorium fund to support music education in the bush

If elected, Labor has promised to work with  Create NSW and stakeholders to develop a Strategy for the Arts in Rural and Regional NSW within six months of forming government.

It has also launches its policy plan for music venues to counter what it calls the ‘venue crisis’  of the ongoing closures in NSW.  The proposed ‘Right to Play’ music venue policy will :

  • Make changes to the Liquor Act to create a new class of licence specifically for venues dedicated to live entertainment;

  • Create a one-stop shop to deal with noise complaints, and streamline complex noise regulations

  • Improve the process for venues to obtain planning and liquor approvals to significantly reduce wait times for venues;

  • Create a Minister for Music and Night Time Economy, and hold regular roundtable discussions

  • Conduct a census to establish the number of venues, musicians and performances that take place at any given time in NSW; and

  • Provide practical assistance for venues with a new $1.2 million programme to venues to assist with soundproofing.