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Live sector calls scalper legislation proposals “an overreaction”

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Live sector calls scalper legislation proposals “an overreaction”

While the Senate’s economics committee holds public hearings for its inquiry into ticket scalping, the Australian live sector has become alarmed by Senator Nick Xenophon’s call to change Federal laws to increase penalties for the practice.

Senator Xenophon said organised scalping was become highly technological, and consumers needed to be protected. A national approach was needed to replace the varying rules in the different states. The Senate committee has a deadline of March 26 to make its recommendations.

The live entertainment industry’s peak association Live Performance Australia (LPA)’s CEO Evelyn Richardson responded, “We think legislation may well be an overreaction.” She told ABC Radio, “The extent of ticket scalping in Australia is very limited to specific instances and particular shows, but it’s certainly not widespread across the sector.”

Ticketmaster Australia also contends that scalping is “of a limited nature” and cannot be solved by legislation passed as a “kneejerk” reaction. The company is about to launch a local version of its TM+ resale system where customers who want to exchange tickets can do it in a safe manner; the system has anti-scalper and anti-fraud measures in place. This is done through its paperless tickets scheme and bypasses the major ticket resellers. Ticketmaster was represented at the inquiry by its International Managing Director of Resale, Christoph Homann.

A bill aimed at cracking down on ticket scalping – Fair Trade Amendment (Ticket Reselling) Bill 2013 – was introduced in NSW parliament last November by Anthony Roberts, Minister of Fair Trading The bill was introduced in order to improve transparency and set clear guidelines for people when selling or buying tickets on the secondary market.

- Christie Eliezer