Small Venues Licence

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 16:49 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Business Services and Consumers on the topic of the small venues licence, its operations and review.


Leave granted.


The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: As the minister and this chamber are well aware, in 2012 the government put forward reforms to the Liquor Licensing Act commonly referred to as a small bars licence, but which was indeed the small venues licence. In the report put forward to the parliament on that bill, the government stated that the proposal aims to encourage small venues to host live music and that this will encourage business activity and diversification in the liquor market and promote the live music industry.


In the bill, the government also provided for a review to be undertaken after the initial period of operation of 12 months of the licence, in which additional areas beyond the Adelaide CBD may avail themselves of the small venue licence streamlining and cutting of red tape. That process would be undertaken through consultation by the minister with the stated relevant industry associations and councils.


Looking at the current few dozen small venue licences that have made it through the application process and have been approved and are on the liquor and gambling website, I note that the most recently approved licence, the Longriders Christian Motorcycle Club licence of 35 Whitmore Square, says at point 2:


Other than the playing of background music through the in-house speaker system, there shall be no live entertainment.


A licence previously awarded to the Metro Oyster Bar at 27 Field Street says at condition 1:


Other than the playing of background music via a DJ and/or through the in-house speaker system, there shall be no live entertainment including a performance, show, band or similar live music.


The licence of Mother Vine at 22-26 Vardon Street in Adelaide says at point 3:


Other than the playing of background music via a DJ and/or through the in-house speaker system, there shall be no live entertainment including a performance, show, band or similar event. Background music via a DJ and/or through the in-house speaker system shall be at such a level that allows a patron conversation to be heard over music to the reasonable satisfaction of council.


The licence of Tuxedo Cat Studios—


The PRESIDENT: Can we get on to the question, the Hon. Ms Franks?


The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: The question is being illustrated by the points of the licence, Mr President.


The PRESIDENT: You did ask for a brief explanation. I have given you that.


The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I have two more licences—


The PRESIDENT: Come on, just move on.


The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: —that illustrate to the minister what is going on. I suspect the minister doesn’t know what is going on. So, it is against the intention of the government and I am highlighting to the government what is going on. Mr President, I am almost to the end of my explanation. I am providing information to the minister for the benefit of this government. Tuxedo Cat Studios’ licence at point 1 states:


The premises shall not be used in the nature of a karaoke premises or nightclub.


Finally, as I have previously raised with the minister both in correspondence and in this place, the licence of BarBushka states at point 2:


Other than the playing of background music through an in-house speaker system, there shall be no live entertainment including a performance, show, band or similar live music.


My questions to the minister are:


1.Is she concerned that live music and performance is being specifically precluded? I would say that I have not named just then all the licences that preclude and restrict live music in the small venues category. Is she concerned about this?


2.What is the form that the 12-month review is undertaking? Will there be a formal report made public of that review? Which councils and industry associations has she had consultations with in regard to extensions of this licence?


The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 16:54 ): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. The issues that she raises are indeed very important ones to this government. This government has set itself a priority to establish a vibrant Adelaide. Part of that strategy is to encourage more people into, particularly, the CBD to work, live and play and, of course, our small venue licences and live music are a very important part of that. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk about the importance of international students to that vibrancy as well. It is an issue that is very dear to the heart of this government.


Last year, this government looked at liquor licensing of small venues and made some changes to that. The government streamlined certain reforms to contribute to rejuvenating the city. As I said, we particularly focused on small bars in the Adelaide CBD. Since that new licence class was introduced, I am pleased to say that, at the time that this information came to me, 42 small venue applications had been received; of which, I am informed 27 were granted by the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner, and a further four have been approved by the commissioner pending CVS receiving a certificate of occupancy from the Adelaide City Council. I understand there are a number in the pipeline.


We know in the issuing of these licences that, although they have been streamlined, nevertheless there are complex social issues that have to be considered. We are always mindful of the issue of alcohol-driven behaviour, and so we are mindful of the proliferation of venues and outlets for that. We have done a lot of work in the space of operating hours and also lock-outs, and we continue to keep our mind’s eye on those important issues. The other is, of course, balancing issues to do with people living and playing in the city at the same time; on one hand, we are encouraging people to take up residence in the CBD, and at the same time we have a proliferation of these venues.


Getting that balance right is important. It is something that the liquor commissioner looks at, and something that local council looks at as well. If the honourable member would like, given that she has indicated she has got a comprehensive list, I would very much appreciate her forwarding that list either to my office or directly to the liquor commissioner. I am happy to receive advice in relation to those particular venues to see if there is any possibility of improving access to live entertainment.

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