No link between live music and violence

The recent closure of the Tote in Collingwood has generated a lot of public debate about Victoria's liquor licensing regime. Contrary to recent reports, the security requirements for venues with live music were not part of the bill that passed state parliament late last year. The requirement for live music venues to provide security staff is not enshrined in any act of parliament – it is something the government started requiring of licensees long ago.

"The Commissioner can remove the link between live music and the requirement for security at any time, and she should do so now," Victorian Greens spokesperson for the Arts, Ms Pennicuik said today.

"I understand the concern about 'alcohol-fuelled violence' in certain precincts but these smaller live music venues are not where the violence is and are suffering from unintended consequences of the liquor licensing rules," she said.

"The government should make the trigger/s for special licence conditions a history of violence, the level of alcohol consumption, late night operations and patron numbers, NOT the presence of live or amplified music. Any connection between security and live music should be removed."

Liquor licensing policies and laws should support live music and any major changes to licence conditions must be assessed for their impact on the viability of live music venues, as well as their effectiveness in reducing alcohol-related violence.

"The government must abandon its plans for a 2am lockout," she said. "The Greens oppose the government's '2am lockout' bill. The 2008 lock out trial resulted in people wandering the streets, making everyone less safe."

"The government should target violence, not talent. Music doesn't cause violence, as the government's own studies say.* The link between music and licensing requirements should be removed."

*http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/DOJ+Internet/resources/file/ebc215470f28b4d/RIS.pdf

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