Victoria’s live music scene could see the implementation of an Agent of Change law within weeks as reports suggest negotiations with the Department of Planning are in their final stages.
Music Feeds reported last week that Planning Minister Matthew Guy has pushed forward crisis talks with music industry lobby groups to discuss vital reforms to the city’s live music scene after he was criticised for dragging his feet.
According to The Music Network, those talks with reps from Music Victoria, Save Live Australia’s Music (SLAM) and Fair Go 4 Live Music are in their final stages and could result in the introduction of the Agent of Change law in Victoria as early as mid-August.
Live music lobby groups have been advocating for an Agent of Change principal for years. If implemented, it would protect established live music venues from noise complaints issued by new residents by placing the costly onus of soundproofing new properties on the developers instead of longtime venue owners.
Minister Guy voiced his emphatic support for the principal as early as the final sitting of parliament for 2013 but has been slow to action, prompting SLAM to issue a statement last week saying they had “lost faith” in the Minister due to his inaction.
Reports TMN, five clubs in Melbourne are currently facing noise issues including The Reverence Hotel in Footscray, The Gasometer in Collingwood and St Kilda’s Pure Pop Records.
Melbourne venue Cherry Bar recently raised $50,000 in 24 hours from a crowdfunding campaign where the live music loving public helped raise the necessary funds for costly soundproofing works and Thornbury venue Tago Mago will hold a benefit concert this Saturday also to raise funds for soundproofing.
Last week Minister Guy said he hoped to work closely with lobby groups and come to an acceptable agreement shortly. “We are working on reforms that will respond to challenges the industry is facing and ensure important issues such as housing affordability and building standards are responsibly addressed,” he said.