FUN: Fans enjoy the show by punk rock Brisbane band Spit Idiots at Splendour in the Grass 2019.
FUN: Fans enjoy the show by punk rock Brisbane band Spit Idiots at Splendour in the Grass 2019. Ian Laidlaw

It's been called the most 'irresponsible thing' in politics

A NORTHERN Rivers politician says a call to repeal music festival regulations "shocking" and the most irresponsible thing she's encountered in politics.

Regulations imposed by the NSW Government could be disallowed by the parliament this month, with MLC Catherine Cusack calling it the most shocking thing she has encountered in politics.

"I'm quite shocked ... and anybody voting against this regulation needs to be accountable for loss of life. It is the most irresponsible thing I've ever encountered in politics," the Lennox Head resident and Liberal MLC said.

If the regulation is cancelled by the Legislative Council, Ms Cusack is worried the government will have to create a new policy from scratch, weeks before the beginning of the new music festival season.

On Wednesday, the Regulation Review Committee - part of the NSW Upper House - tabled a report after an inquiry into the regulations by the government to the music festival industry, a reaction to six recent deaths at festivals.

The report recommended, amongst other measures, that the NSW music festival regulations be disallowed, which is very likely to be passed by Labor and the Greens when parliament resumes in three weeks.

Ms Cusack was part of the committee looking into this issue, but she rejected disallowing the licensing measure.

"The recommendations mainly involve more consultation with industry, and the government accepts all of those, but the controversial recommendation is the plan to have the licence for high risk music festival be disallowed by the Legislative Council," she explained.

Currently, those festivals deemed 'higher risk' by the government must apply for a music festival licence to the Department of Racing and Gaming.

"In NSW there are 90 music festivals conducted a year, and there are 12 music festivals that have been assessed 'higher risk', where there is the risk of a young person losing their life," the MP said.

Ms Cusack said the criteria used to deem an event 'higher risk' includes the ages the music festival is targeted to, the kind of music featured, previous incidents, organisers' experience, plus other health and policing variables.

"The list of those 12 festivals has been kept secret, as per the festivals' request, but I can tell you that no Northern Rivers music festival is part of those 12 deemed higher risk," she confirmed.

The MLC was dismayed to see her political opponents about to remove the music festival licence requirement across NSW.

"It's a safety measure for the well-being of patrons at those festivals," she said.

"The recommendation is to the NSW Upper House, and if Labor and Greens decide they want to support that recommendation, in all likelihood, it will pass.

"Government MPs strongly support the regulation, we heard the evidence from police and the health department imploring the committee not to end the regulation."