Jimmy Barnes Weighs In On Australia’s Lockout Laws

Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes has joined the fight against Australia’s lockout laws. Barnes was at Parliament House last night and performed an acoustic version of  Flame Trees at a gig organised on behalf of the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Music.

Federal MP Ewen Jones was one of the men responsible for setting up the gig, he did so with the intention of engaging other parliament members in the music industry.

Barnes wasn’t the only Australian musician called upon: Josh Pyke, Paul Dempsey and Baby AnimalsSuze DeMarchi among others were also in attendance.

Barnes took a second after his performance to address the reasons for the gig.

“Musicians struggle for most of their careers,” he said. “There needs to be more funding around the arts, for music, for rock music. I’ve seen a lot of great musicians, a lot of great songwriters, come and starve to death and disappear.”

He continued by saying, “The live music industry needs to be supported, the hotels association needs to get behind us. We need politicians to help us with lockout laws, there’s got to be better ways with dealing with that, that don’t compromise live music.”

Jones, who hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind regarding the lockout laws, is keen to include music in the innovation and small business portfolios so it can gain more formal support. “You won’t find a more creative, more innovating industry than music. This is perfect for our agenda,” he said.

He continued by acknowledging that the government needed to come up with policy settings to help artists make a decent living out of their craft, and address the impact of lockout laws on the live music industry, and said there was much more policy makers could do.

Mr Jones said the $15-billion-a-year Australian music industry could be lucrative for some, with the top 2 per cent of musicians earning more than $200,000 a year. But he said 78 per cent of artists made less than $10,000 a year.

The music-loving MP not only wanted to spread his love of music with his colleagues but with everyone, suggesting they host a music festival on Capital Hill, with none other than Aussie rockers You Am I.

“I think this is the people’s music. I want the Queens Terrace cafe on the verandah out there looking down the drive to the War Memorial with electric guitars nice and loud … that says the people are in the house.”

I couldn’t think of a better place to get more MP’s support for live music than helping them to experience a festival first-hand in their own backyard. Good Call Mr Jones.

Read more: How Queensland blew it with lockout laws

Read even more: Live music will lose to lockout laws

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