Daley Labor is backing live music in The Illawarra supporting a raft of recommendations proposed by a key Parliamentary inquiry into the wider music and arts economy.

Up to 669 venues across NSW stand to benefit from the reforms. The Illawarra has a rich heritage of supporting young artists and providing venues where they can perform live.  This year alone we have seen one of the best youth bands come out of the region with home grown boys from Windang, Hockey Dad and their album Blend Inn, positioning at number #3 in this year’s triple J’s top albums of the year.

Current restrictions on NSW venues include prescribing the type of music that may be played and barring rock music.

An Upper House inquiry into the music industry identified a crisis among NSW music venues under the Liberal and National State Government.

The inquiry made a number of recommendations, some of which a Labor government supports in principle.

They include:

  • Introducing legislation to sweep away the historical liquor licence conditions that restrict genres of music, the number of musicians who take the stage, the instruments they play and the direction in which they face;
  • Creating a music development hub that co-locates the Music Development Office, contemporary music organisations and businesses, rehearsal and performance space, community radio, writing and recording studios and a youth venue;
  • Simplifying the noise complaints and planning processes;
  • Developing and releasing a Plan for Contemporary Music within 100 days of being elected; and
  • Funding a regional music crawl to take music industry professionals into regional areas to showcase regional venues, artists and local industry;
  • Introducing live music venue liquor licences.

Labor will release a full music policy prior to the election as part of its commitment to revitalise the NSW night time economy.


Daley Labor has already created a world-first: a Music and Night Time Economy ministry in order to restore life back to NSW.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley

 “I’m proud to have a world first in the Daley Labor team – a Music and Night Time Economy ministry.

“Labor will carefully look at the Parliamentary inquiry’s recommendations and release a full music policy prior to the election.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy John Graham


“In the 1984 movie Footloose, two things were banned: dancing and rock music.


 “Labor will introduce legislation to remove these archaic restrictions in a single go, as was the case in South Australia.”


Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Illawarra


“Currently NSW has bans or restrictions in venues on dancing and rock music. It also has bans or restrictions on live music, disco, DJs, drumming, four piece bands, singer songwriters, the bass guitar, vinyl records, bands facing in a direction other than south and mirror balls.


 “This will make NSW and the Illawarra an even more vibrant place to live and work. 


“Labor’s policy will create more opportunities for artists to stay and work in our Illawarra community.”


669 venues in NSW have bans or restrictions on entertainment in their liquor licences in NSW. One example of such a restriction is at the South Dubbo Tavern which reads:

‘Entertainment is to be confined to solos, duos, small cover bands and country and western music - no large rock bands and the like are to provide entertainment.’

The music inquiry report was released on 15 November 2018 and made the following findings:

  • That there is massive potential for the contemporary music sector in New South Wales;
  • The recorded music sector has grown rapidly over the last two years via online streaming;
  • The majority of the industry is based in New South Wales;
  • That New South Wales has a music venue crisis, the causes of which are complex, but it is impacting negatively on the grassroots music scene in New South Wales, and on the national and regional touring circuits; and
  • That the committee found no research available that suggested that music causes violence. In fact, the majority of the evidence the committee received suggested that music assists in preventing violence.