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      State Branch Office Elections  

    Post Election Report For: Musicians' Union of Australia
    Melbourne Branch Offices Election E No 2010/2584

    Section 197(1) of Schedule 1 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 requires the AEC to provide a written report on the conduct of the election to the Delegate of the General Manager and to the organisation or branch for whom the election was conducted. A copy of the report in relation to this election is attached. Section 198 requires that if an organisation or branch is given a post election report under Section 197 that identifies a rule that was difficult to interpret or apply, the organisation or branch must, within 30 days, give a written response to the AEC on that aspect of the report. The response must specify whether the organisation or branch intends to take any action in relation to the rule, and if so, what action it intends to take. If the attached Report identifies a rule that was difficult to interpret or apply, you should forward your response to the AEC by email to:  industrial.elections@aec.gov.au  within thirty days of the date of the report. Section 198 and the regulations also require an organisation to make the post election report and the organisation's response to the report (if applicable) available to members. Further, Regulation 141(4) of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 requires an organisation or branch to publish a notice on its web site advising members that a copy of the post election report is available upon request. If a website is not available, publishing a notice in a journal or newsletter would be considered appropriate.

      Licensing vs Live Music  


    There has been a lot of email traffic lately about changes to the Liquor Control Act and/or the Liquor Control regulations which have suddenly required music venues to hire security guards. There has also been mention of "private contractor" enforcers. The Musicians' Union of Australia has taken all this seriously and recognises the threat that the situation poses to live music. The first thing we did was investigate the legislative and regulatory changes that are alleged to have occurred. Here is what we actually found and what we have been doing to try and save the situation.
      1. There have been no recent changes to the act that require security guards for venues putting on live music.
      2. There have been no recent changes to the regulations that require security guards for venues putting on live music.
      3. There has been the creation of a "Compliance Directorate" comprising 40 civilian inspectors.
    This occurred in June 2009.

    (What they can do can be viewed here:)

    http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/CA256EB5000644CE/page/Liquor-Compliance Directorate

    It seems that the current situation has arisen due to the interaction of a number of factors and at a time when the State Government is being very publicly active on the issue of alcohol related violence. This appears to be the target and the effect on live music is more like "collateral damage". There have long been requirements on many individual Liquor Licenses for the mandatory provision of "Crowd Controllers" when amplified music is put on, these requirements are usually in an "Amenity Clause".

    (Any licence can be viewed here:   https://liquor.justice.vic.gov.au/alarm_internet/alarm_internet.ASP?WCI=index_action&WCU)

    The introduction of civilian inspectors as well as police has resulted in a more active enforcement of licence conditions. In most cases it appears that the problem has arisen by the enforcement of existing requirements rather than the introduction of new ones.

  • Quite a few people have made submissions to the "Regulatory Impact Statement" in the belief that this has something to do with new security conditions for live music. The RIS is actually dealing with a proposed new model of Licence Fees for venues based on "risk factors". There is, however, an extremely useful piece of information in the statement. It basically says that there is no evidence that music is a "risk factor" for alcohol related harm.

  • Once we had sorted out all the facts of the situation, we decided that the best approach was to send out a media release describing the situation that was occurring and pointing out the inappropriateness of the typical amenity clause when the government's own report said that there was no evidence that live music was part of the problem.

  • Our media release produced a very rapid response from the office of the state Minister for the Arts. After a discussion during which we suggested some solutions to the problem we were invited to submit our proposed solutions in written form. This has been done and the minister's senior advisor has reponded positively. The minister herself is apparently away and will not return until early next week. It is very important to understand that any solution to this problem, if it has a chance to suceed, must recognise the existence of a control problem in some licensed venues. It is also important to understand that we would have very little chance of success if we expected the government to allow venues to act contrary to existing laws and regulations. The key is to change the regulatory structure without undermining its credibility or effectiveness. This situation has arisen in an environment where public concern over violence in licensed venues has prompted a strong government response. Questioning either the concern or the response is likely to be counter productive.

  • We would would like all musicians and supporters to help us save the situation, here is a list of steps you can follow to do that:
      1. Read and digest this email so that you get a good understanding of the issues.
      2. Send this email to as many other potentially interested people as you can.
      3. Let the Union know you want to support the effort (email us on musiciansua@aol.com and provide the best email address for us to send updates to)
    It is impossible to predict how long this campaign might take but having a well informed and connected mass of concerned people behind it is vital.


    13 NOVEMBER 2009

    On Thursday 5 November, we held a musical demonstration outide the electoral office of Tony Robinson, State Minister for Consumer Affairs (liquor control is in his portfolio). Since there had still been no action from the Arts Minister's office we decided to broaden our approach.
    The event was timed to match the publication cycle of the Whitehorse Leader and received a good run in the print edition and also online.
    The online version also contains a video of the event and an interview.

    These can be viewed at:


    All supporters are urged to distribute campaign posters and leaflets, these can be obtained from the Union office (contact details below)
    or printed directly from files available on our website:  www.musicians.asn.au/musicandviolence

    The website will also show you how to contact your local member of parliament to complain.
    Thanks to all those who have let us know that they have contacted their local member.
    Please send us your concerns and specific examples of the problem, the more of these we can cite the better the chance of getting a result.
    Our email address is: musiciansua@aol.com


    19 OCTOBER 2009

    Due to the slow response of the State Minister for the Arts, the Musicians' Union has instigated a campaign to increase public awareness of the problem and to focus attention on the ludicrous nature of the government's position. Posters and leaflets have been printed and we have started to get them into venues.
    The message is:


    The poster and leaflet both direct people to a webpage (www.musicians. asn.au/musicandviolence) which contains more information and recommends that they contact their local parlimentarian (there is also a link to the contact details of all State parliamentarians).

    All musicians should try to get the poster up at every venue they play at. We also need to get leaflets onto tables, bars, benches and any other horizontal surface at venues! Supplies of both the poster and the leaflet are available from the Musicians' Union (contact details below).

    There will be downloadable pdf files of the poster and leaflet (in black and white and colour) on the webpage for those who want to print their own.

    Many musicians have been asking what they can do to help address the situation, well here it is. Let's get the message out as fast and far as we can. Remember, the more noise we can make the faster the response from government is likely to be.


    12 OCTOBER 2009

    We were called today by a supporter who told us that the liquor licensing authorities had made a decision to view favourably any application made by a venue to remove the Crowd Controller clauses on a licence as long as the change only applied to time before 11.00pm.

    We have contacted the liquor section of Consumer Affairs to check if any such decision had been made. A spokesman for the liquor section said that there had NOT been any such decision made but did say that the opportunity to apply for a variation of licence conditions had always been there and still was.

    We are unable to confirm whether some informal decision has been taken or not, but we would caution against that assumption. The result of a recent relevant variation application by a venue would be a most useful piece of information.

    Please send us your concerns and specific examples of the problem, the more of these we can cite to the Minister the better the chance of getting a result.
    Our email address is: musiciansua@aol.com


    6 OCTOBER 2009

    Yesterday we spoke again to State Arts Minister Kosky's Senior Ministerial Advisor. She had previously informed us that the Minister would be away until then. The advisor confirmed that the Minister was now "back on deck" and that the material we had previously been invited to submit had been passed on to her.
    We stressed the urgency of the situation and the growing concern, particularly among musicians.

    It was also pointed out that even famous chef Shannon Bennett of high class eatery "Vue de Monde" has objected to his establishment being treated as though it was the same as a "..3000-patron packed bar..." (see Melbourne Herald-Sun 5/10/09). We requested an urgent personal meeting with the Minister and stated that the best way to deal with this obviously absurd situation was to act quickly and that the solutions were already there. The advisor undertook to take all of our concerns to the Minister and said that she would repond in a few days.

    We were also asked to send copies of the specific licence clause that is the root of the problem. This has been sent along with examples of licences that have the clause.

    Please send us your concerns and specific examples of the problem, the more of these we can cite to the Minister the better the chance of getting a result.

    Our email address is: musiciansua@aol.com

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Click here for Stephan Grant's Small Venues website.

      Alan Richards
    Acting Secretary, Melbourne Branch
    Musicians Union of Australia
    8 Palmerston Street. Camberwell VIC 3124

    Mob: 0418 554 635
    Email: melbourne.secretary@musicians.asn.au

    URL: www.musicians.asn.au

    Online Magazine: www.thedues.com


    Last updated: 24 November 2015

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