Save Live Music Venues, Plan for the Future, says Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan and Leader of the Reason Party, Fiona Patten has today called on the Victorian Government to put its shoulder to the wheel and save Victoria’s creative industries – before a bad situation gets worse.
“Creative industries bring in $23 billion to the Victorian economy, and employ 220,000 Victorians, the arts are a life support for many and need government backing now,” said Ms Patten.
Ms Patten’s plan calls for a number of policy initiatives to ensure that jobs are preserved in the creative sector in Victoria.
“We need to introduce a moratorium on immediate costs faced by performance venues, “ said Ms Patten.
“As well, a 2 year ban on planning applications to change the use of a live music venue.”
Ms Patten said a taskforce that plans and develops Victoria’s cultural activities in a post lock down but pre-international travel world would be appropriate so as to identifying changes the industry would need to survive purely on domestic tourists as an audience.
The Creative Spaces programme provides artists with studios to create in, if the policy was expanded, more Victorian artists would be able to create art affordably.
“Minister for Creative Arts, Martin Foley needs expand the Creative Spaces programme – and do so as a matter of urgency,” said Ms Patten.
“I have today written to him on this and a range of other suggestions to help our important arts sector.”
Patrick Donovan, CEO of Music Victoria, wrote in The Age last week, passionately advocating for the government to support live music venues.
“If they [live music venues] lose their liquor licenses and leases, it will be very hard to regain them, and we could become a ghost town,” said Mr Donovan.
“Throughout history, opportunistic carpet-baggers have moved in during times of crisis. Our venues and studios sit on sought-after high street real estate, and plenty of developers will be eyeing off some prized sites.”
“Industry and government need to work together to ensure we don’t lose more jobs, said the Northern Metro MP. “No one knows when international travel will resume and we can’t plan for 2021 like it’s just another year.”
Ms Patten suggested that a task force should look at how Victoria could continue to produce world class music and cultural festivals, without the boon from overseas tourists and artists.
“We have to protect what we have and plan for future, supporting the arts should be high on the agenda for the Andrews Government” Ms Patten added.
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