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Greens call for real action on live music

By 26 August 2011 13

Following our disappointment at last week’s government response to the live music inquiry, the Greens’ Caroling Le Couteur has now noticed that the Government isn’t actually doing anything.

“There is a major concern that Canberra’s music and arts scene is struggling in a range of ways and that we are losing a very important part of our city’s vibrancy and vitality,” Ms Le Couteur said.

“It is disappointing to see the Minister only agree to just 1 of the 41 recommendations and that was to establish an Interdepartmental committee (IDC) to work on the subject. It is frustrating to see the report saying the IDC had made recommendations but refusing to tell us what they were. What is the government hiding?

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13 Responses to Greens call for real action on live music
#1
Bosworth11:51 am, 26 Aug 11

I thought that only Tony Abbott was interested in “Real Action”

#2
qedbynature12:45 pm, 26 Aug 11

Caroline Le Couteur was a member of the standing committee whose final report is also referenced by Joy Burch in her statement. The IDC (interdepartmental committee) referred to by Caroline seems to differ from Ms Burch’s IDC (Interdirectorate Committee) in name and in my quick reading of the 32 recommendations contained in the final report I can find no recommendation for an IDC.

However nitpicking aside, it is probably instructive to consider Ms Burch’s tabling statement, especially the bit about

qedbynature said :

the Government’s Response agrees in-principle to many of these investigations and in some instances notes that review of legislation is already scheduled. The response disagrees with some recommendations where they are not considered to be the responsibility of the ACT Government or where they are not in accordance with other Government policies.

Of these it appears the government’s main concern is with the often cited “noise problem” frequently associated with live music, and one they are effectively buck-passing to a review of the EPA. Its other in-principle agreement is with the notion of providing community venues for live events however these sorts of generous sounding offers will need to be backed up by appropriate actions before we can make any judgement about the government’s intent.

In many ways Ms Burch’s statement is rather defensive about its role in live music and seems to ignore much of the activities of the contemporary live music scene, arguably the one segment of the live music scene that struggles most with issues identified in Caroline’s report. However it is also worth pointing out that in spite of the government’s ignorance of the issues involved and it’s limited capacity to be involved in what is essentially a grass cultural phenomenon, Canberra’s contemporary live music environment is continuing to develop some outstanding talent. Anyone who attended last night’s Campus Band Final at the CIT would agree.

Maybe the pollies need some first hand experience with the Canberra’s live music. They might even enjoy it.

#3
Thumper12:48 pm, 26 Aug 11

Not enough venues, not enough punters, crap public transport means you have to drive, planning laws that force pubs into stopping live music, the new alcohol regime which hurts small pubs.

It’s not difficult.

#4
Jim Jones12:55 pm, 26 Aug 11

Thumper said :

Not enough venues, not enough punters, crap public transport means you have to drive, planning laws that force pubs into stopping live music, the new alcohol regime which hurts small pubs.

It’s not difficult.

Blow up the Waldorf.

#5
notdingers12:59 pm, 26 Aug 11

I find it a bit worrying that there is no emphasis on live original and local music

The ACT Government paying for a Beatles Tribute band to play NYE doesn’t seem to me to enrich Canberra’s art scene.

#6
The_TaxMan1:35 pm, 26 Aug 11

I play in a band and did so as my only source of income from 14 years.

The majority of that time there was no need to leave Canberra other than the occassional trip to Hay, Batemans Bay etc there were 4 venues in Weston and 4 in Philip now there is 1 venue in Woden (catering to solos and duos only) and none in Weston. Live music should be encouraged in all it’s forms irrespective of your personal taste (not everyone liked the Sex Pistols but they did sell over 200 million albums) It does seem that if the style does not fit within certain genres there is no support at all.

In closing original music should be encouraged but if it was not for Cover bands many amazing tunes would be lost forever.

#7
Thumper1:53 pm, 26 Aug 11

Blow up the Waldorf

Exactly.

And then blow up the pokies as well.

#8
Jim Jones2:25 pm, 26 Aug 11

The_TaxMan said :

I play in a band and did so as my only source of income from 14 years.

The majority of that time there was no need to leave Canberra other than the occassional trip to Hay, Batemans Bay etc there were 4 venues in Weston and 4 in Philip now there is 1 venue in Woden (catering to solos and duos only) and none in Weston. Live music should be encouraged in all it’s forms irrespective of your personal taste (not everyone liked the Sex Pistols but they did sell over 200 million albums) It does seem that if the style does not fit within certain genres there is no support at all.

In closing original music should be encouraged but if it was not for Cover bands many amazing tunes would be lost forever.

I’m with you, except the whole “if it was not for Cover bands many amazing tunes would be lost forever” thing. Covers gigs certainly pay the bills, but without too many exceptions, covers bands mostly play the same stuff (and, by their very nature, they’re covering music that is popular, and not in much danger of being ‘lost’).

#9
Ben_Dover2:59 pm, 26 Aug 11

Phone rings…

Caroling Le Couteur; “Hi Shane, only me.”

Shane Rattenbury: “Hi there, what’s up?

Caroling Le Couteur; “Well I’ve been thinking Shane. You know how we’ve been sticking our nose into everything, and we’re running out of ideas for getting up people’s nose so as to be noticed?”

Shane Rattenbury: “True, there cannot be many places our noses haven’t been now, it’s getting harder and harder to find stuff outside the tree hugging agenda to be annoying on.”

Caroling Le Couteur; The 2010 Federal Election budget, Climate Change ,Education, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Environment , done those.”

Shane Rattenbury: “Health Housing Liberal Party Mental Health Planning Public Transport Schools solar TAMS Transport Urban Planning Waste Water,done those.”

Caroling Le Couteur; “ ‘Manda’s ideas on food labeling and other irrelevancies have been particularly annoying and attention gathering.”

Shane Rattenbury: “True”

Caroling Le Couteur; “Well yesterday I had a brain wave! Let’s start pontificating on the live music scene in Canberra!”

Shane Rattenbury: “But we don’t know anything about the live music scene?”

Caroling Le Couteur; “I know, it’s a real winner for us in that case, isn’t it?”

Shane Rattenbury: “Genius! Gold! Super trendy!”

Caroling Le Couteur; “We can start poking our nose in, complain about whatever it is labour are doing…”

Shane Rattenbury: “Are they for or against?”

Caroling Le Couteur; “Who cares? Get someone to find out, and we’ll just say the opposite!”

Shane Rattenbury: “No worries, brutal, blinging…. errr…. Awesome!!”

Caroling Le Couteur; “Pretty soon just about everyone in Canberra will have got a gutfull of us.”

Shane Rattenbury: “Thank god for that!”

Caroling Le Couteur; “Any attention is better than none.”

Shane Rattenbury: “Still. They won’t vote for us, will they?”

Caroling Le Couteur; “No, not really.”

Shane Rattenbury: “I can’t help but wonder why.”

#10
zippyzippy7:22 pm, 26 Aug 11

The greens were the ones who got the live music inquiry in the first place back in 2009, right?

#11
jawgar8:44 pm, 26 Aug 11

I think inducements even pressure should be brought to bear on certain businesses to use live music i.e. Westfield, Canberra centre, DFO, Bunnings,etc. Music needs to where the people are – not just in late night youth venues. The governments fretting about noise levels is irrelevant (except that some sound guys think bass needs to run at ridiculous levels). The government or businesses should provide power outlets and a sign saying “Bands welcome to set and play here” – Lets make Civic like New Orleans every weekend

#12
Grail1:25 am, 27 Aug 11

zippyzippy said :

The greens were the ones who got the live music inquiry in the first place back in 2009, right?

That’s correct.

One can go check old issues of City News for some of the progress that was made at the time (Caroline Le Couteur took Alistair Coe and Mary Porter out for a night on the town). The digital edition of the City News doesn’t go back that far though. From memory the trio visited places such as the George Harcourt (a live music venue threatened by the encroachment of NIMBY estates) and a bunch of others.

While I was living next door to the Magpies Sports Club in Kippax, I was more than aware that the major noise associated with any entertainment venue (apart from open-air events such as rock concerts at the Bruce Stadium) is the drunk folks trying to recite their favourite songs while stumbling home in the dark at 2am :)

I’d love to be able to recover that particular issue of City News (was it last year or the year before? no idea), since my memory of the story is only the chuckle I got at Caroline taking Alistair out for a party.

#13
Ben_Dover8:06 am, 27 Aug 11

Grail said :

(Caroline Le Couteur took Alistair Coe and Mary Porter out for a night on the town). .

A night out on the town with a Greenie? How could they stand the excitement….

Not a tree in Civic left un-hugged I bet.

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