"Illegal" warehouse venues to be discussed at council meeting tonight

Tuesday 16 April 2013

"Illegal" warehouse venues to be discussed at council meeting tonight

Marrickville Council will tonight be addressing the slew of illegally ran warehouse venues in the area and exploring how the council can work with such venues on fire, safety and accessibility requirements. The proposed motion is below:

“It is suggested that Council undertakes research to understand reasons why legal venues such as Notes Enmore, The Sando Newtown have closed down in recent months. This research should include factors such as economic sustainability, liquor licensing laws, BCA requirements and accessibility requirements. Once the above constraints have been identified, it will assist with the development of programs and policies that could support the proposed Parramatta Road initiative.

"It is also suggested that further research take place to understand why alternative music venues such as Dirty Shirlows and Median (both located in the industrial parts of Marrickville) were not able to meet the requirements to make the venues legal and permissible.

"Informal feedback indicates that the fire, safety and accessibility requirements expected of the venues make it financially unsustainable for small business owners to open and operate a music venue legally. This research could be used to inform the development of Council’s role in fostering the live music industry.”

MusicNSW's Chief Officer Kirsty Brown tells TMN that it is heartening to see these issues being taken seriously by council:

"It's been great to see the various councils of Sydney working together in coordination around live music, and Marrickville Council putting the Parramatta Rd Live Music precinct motion on the table tonight is another indication that the issue is being taken seriously and that a whole-of-government approach to creating a solution is just around the corner.

"Marrickville is home to some of the best music venues in Sydney- and it's once-thriving warehouse scene has been incredibly important in providing a platform for emerging, independent and experimental musicians to flourish. While we are excited to see the Parramatta Rd item on the agenda, we urge Marrickville Council to pursue research into the costs, regulatory restrictions and accessibility requirements that lead to Dirty Shirlows and Median folding this year, and to continue fostering one of Sydney's most vibrant creative communities. These warehouse spaces re-purposed unsightly industrial landscapes into an incredible underground scene that's vital to the growth of the music industry, while providing space for independent collectives, artists and all manner of creative types to practice their art. The pressures of gentrification on these spaces has been substantial, and they have been frequently overlooked for their contribution to the local arts and music culture that Marrickville is so proud of. MusicNSW will be following the results and hope to support Marrickville Council as they work towards fostering an environment of support for live music."

The meeting is at 2-14 Fisher Street, Petersham (that old building behind the Oxford Tavern) from 6:30pm.

- The Music Network