Greens Members for Newtown and Ballina have confirmed their support for the Australian Festivals Association’s (AFA) demands on the NSW Government as the internationally renowned Bluesfest threatens to move the festival to Queensland. The Director of Bluesfest has squarely pointed the finger at this government for their actions.
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown
"The Greens absolutely support the AFA’s calls, in fact we consider what they are asking for to be the basic minimum standard for community consultation and evidence-based policy making,” said Jenny Leong, Greens MP for Newtown.
"We’ve seen the Liberals and Nationals impose lockouts, attempt to shut down our city and stop us from dancing - and now they are throwing the same sort of uninformed and outdated views on our festivals and it’s having enormous consequences.
"The Greens were the only party in the NSW Parliament to stand strong and oppose the lockout laws when they were introduced - our position is clear - we oppose the Sydney and CBD lockouts, we support pill-testing and we want a thriving and creative live music scene,” she said.
“We need to stop the over policing of festivals - including banning sniffer dogs - and support our musicians and the music industry in NSW."
Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina
“Today’s statements from the Director of the award winning Bluesfest are a real worry, this festival is such an important part of the local economy and our community,” said Tamara Smith, Greens MP for Ballina.
“Regional festivals don't want to suffer the same fate as Sydney when lockouts were introduced and to see a hugely successful Festival in its 30th year, fighting for its existence is shocking.
“This government seems hell bent on dismantling our music industry and closing down cultural events - it’s shameful.
“Bluesfest are just the latest business owners to worry about how to keep the lights on in the face of restrictive and over the top government actions and they are likely not the last."
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, tabled the petition signed by 10,000+ people in support of Keeping Sydney Safe and Open in 2016 - her speech is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zodvK5NVMQ