Music festivals are vital to the state’s cultural life and the industry is worth around $600 million to the economy. But the government is imposing excessive, unworkable and unclear requirements on organisers that could see music festivals leave the state. Organisers must engage more harm minimisation officers than there are resources for and they have no way of knowing whether medical officers meet requirements. User pays police costs are going up even though all experts agree that a larger police presence is contrary to harm minimisation principles. The process for determining which festivals are deemed high-risk lacks transparency.
I agree that action is needed to address drug related deaths at music festivals but making them unviable is not the answer. In Parliament, I asked the government to work with the industry, bringing in health, police, and Liquor and Gaming to create a regulatory regime that improves safety and protects the long term viability of the industry. This coincides with notice given by Labor’s Shadow Minister for the Night Time Economy and Music to disallow the regulation for a new music festivals licence category. My speech: HERE