The Bendigo Hotel owner, Guy Palermo is petitioning the Victorian Government to introduce measurements to save Melbourne’s live music venues. The petition has already racked up 2,912 signatures and counting.
Due to the new restrictions around gatherings during COVID-19, Australian music venues are struggling big time. Palermo is calling on the Victorian Government for support.
He’s asking for all liquor licensing and other fees to be paused until these venues are able to reopen and for local councils to make use of these empty spaces in the meantime.
“In 10 days, it is the start of the month and the bills will rack up and many will close for good. We cannot let this happen,” the three-day-old petition reads.
“Melbourne thrives from our live music. It is the beating pulse that binds us together and pumps money into our local economy. We create over 42,000 jobs and contribute $1.7 billion to the Victorian economy.”
Palermo details the devastating effect that venue closures will have on the industry, explaining that the staff, musicians, bookers, organisers, and suppliers would all suffer. He details the on-going effects too.
“Food venues and other business that surround the venue; GST and liquor tax revenue; tourism and Melbourne’s international reputation as the music capital of the world and most liveable city,” he explains.
“Music venues might be able to weather the storm for a few weeks but many if not most venues will close in the coming months, never to open again.
“All those years of experience, networks, loyal customers, reputation and culture will be gone. It will take many years for Melbourne to recover, if ever.
“We need to give a lifeline to keep venues afloat whilst this virus shuts us down.”
As well as asking for these currently-empty venues to be used for alternative purposes like creative spaces, funded-streaming events, and government space for offices or storage, Palermo has detailed how businesses can help too.
The petition asks landlords to, “Constructively work with venues to create sustainable plans to ensure the continuation of leases” and “Moratorium on apartments being built on venue sites”.
As well as:
- PPCA and APRA to pause fees
- Ticketing companies: Oztix and Eventbrite to provide financial and logistical support to venues
- Liquor suppliers: ALM, Paramount, CUB and Lion Nathan to defer payments, buyback stock and support our fundraiser campaign
- Insurance companies: amend current policies to reflect our current closed state and pause coverage not being used
- Utilities: a pause on debt notices and discontinuation of supply until businesses are up and running.