And why that's a good thing for country music fans!
Labor has launched its plan for country music in NSW, with a commitment to complete the state’s first Regional Music Census, mapping music venues, performances and music infrastructure across regional NSW for the first time.
An analysis of the latest data from Liquor and Gaming shows that NSW has slipped dramatically behind Victoria when it comes to regional music venues, with just 48 specific music venues in regional NSW compared to 308 music venues in regional Victoria - less than a sixth as many.
Based on Victorian research, the economic gain to NSW of closing that gap would be nearly $450 million in extra economic activity each year.
The Regional Music Census would be completed alongside a music census for Sydney venues, with both to be completed by the end of 2023.
Other elements of Labor’s plan to support country music over four years include:
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Making this announcement at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, John Graham, Shadow Minister for the Arts, Music and the Night Time Economy said, “Country music in NSW has huge potential given our talented artists, the importance of the Tamworth festival and the grip country music has on the heartstrings of the biggest music market in the world.”
He continued, “We want to see that potential grow, especially after a hard couple of years for the industry. We need to back our regional venues to make that possible and rebuild the regional touring circuit that is so important to the country music scene. The first step is this stocktake on the regional venues we have, which allows us to build from there.”