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Hope for music zones

Updated story: 22 February
Port Phillip Mayor Louise Crawford hopes to see action on local music precincts within 12 months.
Music precincts are part of the Council’s draft Live Music Action Plan, now out for community feedback until 7 March.
Read the draft and have your say
The draft plan notes that Music Victoria is keen to work with Council to identify and create ‘live music precincts’ where planning permits focus on supporting the live music industry.
Last week TWiSK expressed serious concerns that the local music scene would fade away unless venues were promptly protected with friendlier planning rules.
The Mayor Crawford responded with a clear commitment to priority action:
“The timeframe regarding music precincts will be dependent on the Victorian Government as well as us, but it will be a priority action if the plan is adopted and we’d hope to see traction within the first 12 months,” she said.
Bravo we say.
Live music fans are hopeful too
Michelle Nicol,Vice President, St Kilda Live Music Community Committee, said “The St Kilda Live Music Community has long advocated for establishing special entertainment precincts. It’s welcome news to hear that this Council is actively pursuing the idea with the Victorian government. We like Fortitude Valley as a suitable model.”
FYI link to Fortitude Valley (the Valley) special entertainment precinct
Local traders say support is urgently needed
David Blakeley, President, Fitzroy Street Business Association, is also a fan of music precincts.
“The punters choose the music, with the venues and promoters reacting to their interests. Our venues and entertainment strips in St Kilda urgently need the support of of the CoPP to continue delivering a night-time economy which over the decades has been the essence of our diverse area.”

Live Music Action Plan @ Have your say Port Phillip
Council consultation closes 7 March

First published 14 February
The new action plan replaces the pre-COVID draft Live Music Action Plan that went to community consultation in March 2020 (but was never adopted due to the pandemic).
Highlights of the new draft include:
pop-up live music events, music trails/walks that explore the history of live music, advocacy to state government about ways to support live music, creation of a First Peoples’ toolkit program to support musicians and music businesses, a one-off summer entertainment program for 2020/21, and work with Victorian government, Music Victoria and consultants to explore the possibility of establishing a live music precinct in Port Phillip.
Council wants community feedback before the 7 March deadline.
You can read the latest draft plan here and comment here

Recycled report fails to hit the high notes,
but there is a glimmer of hope

This second draft Action plan fails to appreciate the dire straits being experienced by local music makers
Its not a very inspiring plan – indeed its unfunded, unspecific, unscheduled and unimaginative – not good features in any plan.
But there is a glimmer of hope
The new plan puts more stress on creating music friendly precincts in local planning laws to give both residents and operators more certainty.
Of course, parts of St Kilda would be red-hot favourites to be vibrant music precincts!
But TWiSK fears that these changes could be years in the making, during which time the music may simply fade away.
Now is the time for Council to take the crisis in live music seriously
With the local music industry in peril, TWiSK expected more.
Yes, we need to give venue operators more confidence through planning protections, but we also need to make it easier for music to happen in the meantime.
TWiSK applauds how COVID has been used to fast track on-street dining
This could be extended to outdoor music with a suitable curfew.
TWiSK wants more short term action to save live music and ensure music is a natural part of St Kilda.
We are sure there are many good ideas out there.
Let’s start with more music on the streets
Email your ideas / response

For the record
Click here to read the 2020 DRAFT Live Music Action Plan was shelved by the pandemic and never adopted