Music and Local Government: Reading List

One of the Music in Communities Network's highest priorities is to explore the interface between music and local government, and advocate for support at this crucial level of government.

This topic is vast and has many stakeholders. Here we present some material related to Local Government and Live Music. This is less a page for news items and more a page for relevant source material, policy discussion and other writings on the subject.

See also: Introduction: The Music in Communities Network and Local Government

Live Music / Planning / Venues

Hastwell, Rosalie; Simon Wollan: Cultural Indicators for Activity Centres (Presented at Rethinking measures of cultural vitality, wellbeing and citizenship International Conference, Melbourne, May 2012). Source: Cultural Development Network (PDF)

This paper discusses the recent Moreland Activity Centre and Housing Strategy (Inner-city Melbourne) which identified the need for Activity Centres to be assessed against the Quadruple Bottom Line (QBL) of economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits.

Gibson, Chris; Shane Homan: Urban Redevelopment, Live Music and Public Space: Cultural performance and the re‐making of Marrickville (2004). Source: International Journal of Cultural Policy (journal article, behind paywall for $US37)

Henry, Frank; Ken Mackenzie: Managing Noise Impacts in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley Entertainment Precinct. (Presented at Australian Acoustical Society Conference, 2004).

This paper is a significant reference regarding noise levels, live music venues and recorded music (nightclubs), and sound attenuation in urban areas. It summarises the approach taken by Brisbane City CounciI through its Valley Music Harmony Plan, and research commissioned by Brisbane City Council.

Homan, Shane: The Mayor's a Square: Live music and law and order in Sydney (2003).

Johnson, Bruce; Shane Homan: Vanishing Acts: An inquiry into the state of live popular music opportunities in New South Wales (July 2002). Source: Australia Council (report, PDF)

Vanishing Acts is not primarily concerned with the role of local government but it remains a useful source regarding live music and licenced venues.

Walker, Clinton: History is Made at Night: Live Music in Australia (Platform Papers #32, 2012) Source: Currency House (essay, for purchase, hard or soft copy)

Wardle, John: A comparison of state and territory legislation and regulations pertaining to the presentation of live entertainment in liquor-licensed venues in Australia. (September 2008).  Source: Music Council of Australia (PDF).

This is a substantial report on regulations affecting live music, particularly licensed venues. It addresses State Government legislation which, in turn, affects Local Government.

Wardle, John: Local Government: Friend or Foe?  (Presented at the 2012 MCA Assembly) Source: Music Forum Vol 19 Issue 2, Feb 2013 (article)

Ware, Ianto: (response to John Wardle) Local Government and Creative Culture: Friend or Foe?  (December 2012) Source: Dr Ianto Ware's blog (article)

Regional and Remote Communities

Dunphy, Kim: Developing and Revitalizing Rural Communities Through Arts and Creativity: AUSTRALIA (Prepared for the Creative City Network of Canada, March 2009). Source: Cultural Development Network (PDF)

Gibson/Stewart: see "Festivals", below

Cultural Facilities

Eltham, BenThe state of Australia’s performing arts centres, and what it tells us about the state of the Australian arts (2012). Source: Meanjin (article)

On the tension between funding the face of performance art and funding the art itself

O'Hara, Scott: Local Government and Music - a Venue Perspective (Music Forum Vol 19, Issue 2, Feb 2013). Source: Music Forum, Vol 19 Issue 2, Feb 2013 (article)

Cultural Policy / General Discussion

Australian Government: National Arts and Cultural Accord (2013). Source:

Australian Government: Creative Australia Policy (2013). Source:

Beevers, Chloe: Local Government and the Music Sector, a NSW perspective (Music Forum Vol 19, Issue 2, Feb 2013). Source: Music Forum, Vol 19 Issue 2, Feb 2013 (article)

Hawkes, Jon: The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: Culture's essential role in public planning (2001). Source: Cultural Development Network (book / PDF)

Masso, Alex: Summary of Local Government submissions to the National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper (Prepared November 2012). Source: MiC website (article).

See this article for links to relevant submissions from local councils and Local Government Associations.

Shaw, Kate: Independent creative subcultures and why they matter (2013). Source: International Journal of Cultural Policy (journal article, behind paywall for $US37)

Tabrett, Leigh: It's Culture, Stupid! (Platform Papers #34, February 2013). Source: Currency House (essay, for purchase, hard or soft copy)

This paper addresses cultural policy for the nation but includes some thinking which is relevant to local government, in particular questioning the basis for arts/culture funding, seeking a clearer framework for the different levels of government in supporting the arts, and the idea of an "arts accord" and "cultural accord".

Policy / Statistics

Cultural Development Network: Arts Indicators for Local Government. This is a landing page for the project, which includes links to further reading. Source: Cultural Development Network


Gibson, Chris; Anna Stewart: Reinventing Rural Places: the extent and impact of festivals in rural and regional Australia (2009). Source: University of Wollongong (report, PDF)

See also


Masso, Alex: What does parking have to do with music? (July 2013) Source: MiC)

Music Council of Australia: Submission regarding the City of Sydney Neighbourhood Parking Policy (July 2013) See PDF


Cultural Ministers Council: National Arts and Disability Strategy (2009). Source: CMC website

Accessible Arts: Response to the City of Sydney Creative City Discussion Paper (2013). Source: Accessible Arts website

Arts Access Australia: Resources (extensive online portal to resources). Source: AAA website