Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (10:40): Live music venues are on life support, and Victorians would like the government to step in to support them. The e-petition ‘Support music venues’ is the largest e-petition in the history of this Parliament, with nearly 16 000 signatures, and that is because thousands of Victorians love live music.
Over 100 000 people would gather at these venues each Saturday night—a grand final every weekend. Yesterday the Premier said, ‘The best experiences are right here in Victoria’, and that is because we are the music capital of Australia. Six years ago the government committed to save live music, and we need them to save it again. Thousands of musicians, crew and bar staff have been without work for months. Millions of Victorians cannot wait to go to a gig again. We need to ensure that there is a place for live music to happen. It is vital for our cultural and economic health. The government has committed to helping the live music economy, but its policy only really helped a handful while hundreds of small grassroots venues are still teetering on dying.
I do not know about the government, but my idea of the night-time economy is not the local pokie den. It is a place like the Tote, Revs and the Old Bar. We need the government to save these venues. We need to save our scene.