Liquor Licensing (Entertainment on Licensed Premises) Amendment Bill

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 15 October 2015.)

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (17:40:15): I rise on behalf of the Greens to support the Liquor Licensing (Entertainment on Licensed Premises) Amendment Bill 2015 put forward by the Government, some three years after I put forward a similar Bill to remove the entertainment consents from liquor licensing—what I call 'the culture cops' from policing whether or not one can have a beer while watching jazz or perhaps not grunge or to come in and say to the Dublin Hotel, 'I'm sorry, you are only licensed to play folk music,' and in fact take them to court because they had a DJ on one day.

That sort of overly restrictive, bureaucratic policing of culture in this state in our licensed venues is why we have this legislation here before us, but also why we should have passed it three years' ago when I first brought a private member's bill to this place. The government bill is restricted to fewer hours than the Greens bill would have been, and that is certainly something that I support. I am happy to see the government take the lead on this and ensure that it is properly implemented.

Section 106 will remain and noise will of course not be affected in terms of this particular bill. This bill will simply deal with liquor licensing enforcement, enforcing genres of entertainment—types of entertainment—not the nuisance of an entertainment. Nuisance will continue to be addressed by the provisions that will remain in the act in terms of noise and other amenity provisions and protections for residents and neighbours of licensed premises.

It is a very welcome debate that I hope will be a short one today. Certainly it has been a long-fought campaign, not just of the Greens, but of people from the Music Industry Council most recently, but of course MusicSA, the Musician's Union, the Australian Hotels Association, and Save Live Australian Music (SLAM) have all been active players in this, and so many, many more.

One I want to pay particular tribute to is Ianto Ware, who would be known to those who do care about a vibrant Adelaide, and also the Live Music Office and John Wardle of that office. Those two men in particular actually sat down in a small Sydney bar and drafted the original bill with me some three and a bit years ago, and I am sure that they will welcome this day as well. It will be the day that we see the end of the Belgian Beer Café on Ebenezer Place only being able to have the string instrumentation of harps or perhaps a didgeridoo.

I'm not sure why Higher Ground was only approved to have the music of Andean, Ancient Greek, Christian country, Indian/Asian, Latin freestyle, Gregorian chant, mediaeval, opera, polka, blue grass (and that is two words for blue grass, Hansard; it is very important and we will get to it in a minute) genres which of course must be particularly troubling, as Walter Marsh of Rip it Up wrote, for banjo players who adhere to the conventionally single word spelling of bluegrass music.

I am sure the Seven Stars Hotel will be happy to be allowed to have five people on their stage or even six rather than the currently prescribed four. I am also sure that those venues which are prohibited from currently playing grunge will breathe a sigh of relief when they are not sure whether or not the band that they have booked for their Friday night performance has traversed from rock into grunge and perhaps back again.

Liquor licensing should never have been involved in policing culture. It is a waste of public resources, it is a waste of time, and it loses the point of liquor licensing, which is to ensure the safe and responsible provision of alcohol in publicly licensed venues. I look forward to this being just one of many steps to support the live music industry. It is big business across the globe and it can be big business for South Australia.

We have many fine live acts. We have people who step onto the local stages and then go on to become world leaders: Sia Furler, I Killed the Prom Queen, and so many more. Everyone, of course, will point to Cold Chisel, who indeed got their start in Adelaide pubs. Let's get more live music in those Adelaide pubs and see more Cold Chisels in the future. With those words, I commend the bill.

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