Plan for entertainment precincts takes next step

Granite Belt Music council members Kel Johnson, Caz Quaglio and Mark Carter with Mayor Vic Pennisi.

By Tania Phillips

 The Granite Belt Music Council have presented their petition to the Southern Downs Regional Council calling for Special Entertainment precincts in the Granite Belt.

A delegation from the group presented the document to Mayor Vic Pennisi and the councilors on Thursday at the Council chambers.

The petition calls for Special Entertainment precincts in the Granite Belt under section 264 of the Local Government Act of QLD.

It was part of the group’s Save the Music campaign.

Group spokesman Kel Johnson said the campaign could lead to a music-lead economic recovery in the region.

“Special Entertainment precincts – their authority and framework is found in section 264 of the Local Government act of 2009 and what it does is allows for the State government laws for councils to have special entertainment precincts,” he explained.

“What it does is reduces a lot of the red tape and you’ve only got one group – the council – looking out for it and they make the rules in there.

“In the past we’ve had problems with street closures, there is various reasons why that has happened but if you have Special Entertainment precincts it allows greater flexibility with things like the Apple and Grape Festival. You won’t have to rely on EPA, Police and Liquor Licensing as much. It will be dealt with by council and the local community that’s the way it should happen.”

Mayor Pennis and the councilors have now referred it to council officers for investigation with a final report expected in the new year.

The group believe creating entertainment precincts would enhance creativity and vibrancy in the Granite Belt, allow Granite Belt Artists to perform in their own local community, enhance Granite Belt tourism and employment and define Stanthorpe as a Live Music hub.

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