The Death and Life of Great Australian Music: planning for live music venues in Australian Cities
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In recent decades outdated noise, planning and liquor laws, encroaching residential development, and the rise of more lucrative forms of entertainment for venue operators, such as poker machines, have acted singly or in combination to close many live music venues in Australia. A set of diverse and quite unique policy and planning initiatives have emerged across Australia's cities responding to these threats. This paper provides the results of a systematic research effort conducted in 2008 into the success or otherwise of these approaches in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Archival and legislative reviews and field visits were supplemented by interviews with key authorities, venue operators, live music campaigners and others in each city. The research sought to categorise and evaluate the diverse approaches being used and to attempt to understand best ways forward to maintain opportunities for live music performance. In Brisbane a place-based approach designating 'Entertainment Precincts' has been used, re-writing separate pieces of legislation (across planning, noise and liquor law). Resulting in monopolies for the few venue operators within the precincts, outside the threats remain and venues continue to be lost. Melbourne instead liberalised liquor licensing, resulting in a profusion of small bars, many of which have provided for live music performance. And Sydney, where perhaps the situation was most acute, undertook a review of NSW liquor laws in late 2008, seeking to find solutions. The paper explores these efforts, and points to ways forward for improved urban management.
Proceedings of 4th National Conference on the State of Australian Cities
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Land Use and Environmental Planning