Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (22:30): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Creative Industries, and the action I seek is for him to approve the Save our Scene proposal to rescue live music by providing a fund to support the relaunching of the industry when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The proposal is simple: it is to implement a live music support package, which would include a needs-based financial assistance program to support small- to medium-size enterprise music venues until they are able to trade sustainably and to put in place a clear and balanced road map to reopen at full capacity.
Now, I know, President, you love music—I have heard you sing. And I do as well—not myself singing, of course. But our live music in Victoria is worth $1.4 billion. There was some—
Mr Bourman interjected.
Ms PATTEN: Yes, I promise I will not sing in verse; I promise, Mr Bourman. But live music is worth $1.4 billion to our Victorian economy. Every Saturday night over 100 000 Victorians attend live music venues—or, to use the state’s correct unit of measurement, one MCG’s worth. But with COVID restrictions, mass gatherings cannot happen; it will be many months before live music venues can open. But while the gigs have stopped, the rest has not: the mortgage repayments, the rent, the insurance, the licensee fees. The debts are mounting, and many venues are struggling to survive. If these venues close, Victoria’s night-time economy will shut down. We will lose tourists from here and overseas. We will lose our status as the most important cultural destination—one of the most important cultural destinations—in the world.
Mr Davis: No, the most important.
Ms PATTEN: All right, let us leave it at ‘the most important cultural destination’. The government’s stimulus spending has been enormous, and live music is only asking for a small amount. We are looking at around $20 million, and that is to ensure that a $1.4 billion industry stays alive, so I urge the minister to approve the Save our Scene proposal.