Calls for NSW to scrap festival red tape

Labor urges NSW Customer Service Minister to rethink legislation on music festivals
Labor urges NSW Customer Service Minister to rethink legislation on music festivals

New Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello must meet with the state's festival industry and redevelop his government's current regulatory regime, NSW Labor says.

Opposition spokesman for music John Graham on Monday called on the government to scrap its controversial festival licensing system.

Currently, NSW festivals deemed to be "low risk" receive free licensing from the government, with those considered to be "high risk" forced to pay for a licence plus an additional emergency service presence.

"They should go back to the drawing board, consult with the festival industry and come back with a regulatory regime that has been worked through collaboratively with industry," Mr Graham said in a statement.

"I call on Minister Dominello to do what his predecessor failed to do, and meet with the industry."

Mr Graham last week moved to disallow the government's music festival regulations in parliament.

That move was welcomed by the Australian Festival Association, which is seeking a meeting with the government to develop "a more workable and sensible regulatory approach to safety".

"If Premier Berejiklian is serious about festival safety, she will acknowledge the original regulations were rushed through without industry consultation and only achieved a dramatic increase in costs to festival organisers and fans and forced the cancellation or relocation of events without delivering a meaningful safety improvement," the association said in a statement on Monday.

Mr Dominello has been contacted for comment.

Australian Associated Press