NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian ‘horrified’ as NSW festival laws voted down

The NSW government’s controversial music festival regulations have been voted down, with music industry bodies applauding the opportunity to rethink safety at music festivals in the state.

Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers voted together on Thursday to dis­allow the regulation governing the music festivals by 21 votes to 18.

“I am horrified by the unholy alliance by Labor, the Shooters and the Greens to disallow our music festival regulations today,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“This action will result in an immediate end to the regu­lations, putting thousands of lives at risk as we come into the summer music festival season,.

“It is utterly reckless to throw out these regulations without having anything in their place as summer approaches.

“We absolutely do not want to see a repeat of what happened last summer.

“But this irresponsible action means police, paramedics, ­nurses and doctors will be left to pick up the pieces.”

The regulations were “hastily developed” after a string of drug related deaths at NSW music festivals and have been blamed for multiple festivals in NSW being forced to cancel.

But music industry bodies welcomed the news.

“The Government can now sit down with the industry for some constructive consultation on ways to improve patron safety at music festivals, including steps to reduce drug-related harm,” said Evelyn Richardson, chief executive of Live Performance Australia.

“From the outset, we have repeatedly expressed our strong desire to work collaboratively with government on our shared commitment to safer festivals.

“Genuine collaboration with industry representatives who have decades of experience in running safe and successful festivals is the best way to promote the safety of festival patrons, while also ensuring NSW continues to enjoy the economic and cultural benefits from a dynamic and diverse music festival industry.”

Labor night-time economy spokesman John Graham said the regulations should be broader.

“Labor calls on the music festival industry and the government to work together to implement updated rules in time for the upcoming summer festival season,” he said.

“We offer our bipartisan ­support. The NSW Health guidelines should be applied more broadly than the government has ­currently done.

“Similarly, medical providers should be registered. They are currently not.”