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Question: The plight of Live Music venues in SA

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:59): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Leader of the Government in this place on behalf of the Premier on the topic of the impact of COVID-19 on the live music sector.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Our state capital, Adelaide, is a UNESCO City of Music, and our pubs and clubs are the homes of live music. One thing in this crisis that we are reminded of, in our times of isolation, is how much we really value the social interaction of live music performances. The Grace Emily was, sadly, one of the first live music pubs to close its door just before the pandemic restrictions were enforced, quickly followed by other venues such as Jive, Electric Circus and dozens more.

Last week, we learned that another loved venue the King's Head will not be reopening even after the pandemic restrictions are lifted, and the Gov down at Hindmarsh estimates it can only sustain its existence for a few more months. In times of normal crises, these are the very people who put on a show to support those in need, but now urgent action is required if this industry is to have a place to return to when this crisis subsides, the very bricks and mortar and sticky carpets that surround our much loved live stages, because if these venues lose their licences or their leases, it will be very hard to regain them. The Chief Executive of Music Victoria's Patrick Donovan has summed it up:

Throughout history, opportunistic carpet-baggers have moved in during times of crisis. Our venues and studios sit on sought-after high street real estate, and plenty of developers will be eyeing off some prized sites.

He has called on that state's planning minister to protect the live music venues and rehearsal studios by banning planning applications for a change of use for live music venues for 24 months while this industry recovers. My question to the Leader of the Government, representing the Premier, is:

1. What engagement has the Premier held with the live music sector?

2. What supports are already in place or planned to be rolled out to protect live music venues?

3. Will the Marshall government look at instituting similar planning protections so that our sticky carpets and stages are not paved over by developers come the end of the pandemic?

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer) (15:02): I am happy to refer the honourable member's question to the Premier. I do note, however, that I think that regarding the problems that confront hotels that are live music venues the AHA has made it quite clear that there are general problems confronting the whole of the industry, including those that the honourable member has referred to, that is, those that may well provide live music as a venue.

The Hon. T.A. Franks: They can shut down the pokies.

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS: I beg your pardon?

The Hon. T.A. Franks: All of them—shut down the pokies.

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS: I will certainly refer the honourable member's question insofar as it relates to the live music venues and issues the honourable member has raised to the Premier, but I am just noting in response that the AHA has certainly made it clear publicly and privately that there are concerns generally about hotels right across the board as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decisions the national cabinet has taken to close down the vast majority of those venues and significantly restrict what it is that they can do within those venues. There are certainly significant issues that relate to the hotel industry generally, but insofar as they relate to live music venues, I will refer the honourable member's question to the Premier.

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