Another busy week in committees sees former Premier Mike Baird questioned about the Government’s plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum; Oz music artists The Preatures and Set-Mo give evidence to the inquiry into the music and arts economy; and the State Development Committee conduct a speedy inquiry following the referral of a bill from the Selection of Bills Committee. While our latest activities are summarised below, you can find further information on all current and past inquiries on our website.

Former Premier Mike Baird quizzed by Portfolio Committee No. 4

Portfolio Committee No. 4 – Legal Affairs held two hearings for its inquiry into museums and galleries last week. On 28 May and 1 June,  the committee heard from former Premier, Mike Baird and form his former Chief of Staff, Mr Bay Warburton, regarding the government’s decision to move the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta. The committee also took evidence from former employees of Parramatta City Council.

A further hearing to recall witnesses will be held in the coming months.

Oz music artists discuss challenges faced by emerging talent

L: Isabella Manfredi, lead singer of The Preatures, gives evidence; R: the committee visits Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice to speak to venue operators and hear live music

On 28 May 2018, PC 6 – Planning and Environment held its second hearing for the inquiry into the music and arts economy in New South Wales. Witnesses, including Isabella Manfredi of The Preatures and electronic artists Set Mo, emphasised some of the difficulties performers face, particularly the lack of live music venues in Sydney. Other issues raised during the hearing included the failure of the Inner West Council to support the Sydenham Creative Hub, whether commercial radio adequately supports Australian music, and how Sydney could learn from other jurisdictions such as Melbourne. The committee also followed-up with AMP Capital to discuss the closure of The Basement.

In the evening the committee visited Goros in Surry Hills, Lazy Bones Lounge in Marrickville and Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice in Sydney City to discuss the practical implication of the state’s regulatory and compliance regime with licensed venues. The committee will commence regional site visits and hearings in July 2018.

State Development conducts two week inquiry into the Forestry Bill

The State Development committee today tabled a report into the provisions of the Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. It was the first bill referred to a committee by the Legislative Council’s new Selection of Bills Committee, which was established in February on a trial basis.

The bill, which was introduced in the Legislative Assembly, was referred to the State Development committee on 22 May 2018 with a two week reporting timeframe. The committee received 52 submissions, one supplementary submission and held one hearing last Friday 1 June. Inquiry participants included environmental groups, forestry and farmer associations, the NSW Apiarist’s Association and relevant government agencies.

The committee recommended that the bill proceed to the Legislative Council for debate and that issues raised during the inquiry be addressed in the second reading debate.

But wait – there’s more to come!

The committee office has been so busy with inquiry activities this week that we have had to plan a second ‘In Committees’ edition for next week. We’ll be dedicated a special non-sitting week post to the recent activities and travels of the Select Committee on Electricity Supply, Demand and Prices in NSW. They’ve been visiting some fascinating locations so look out for that post Wednesday. In the meantime, you can find a sneak peak on the Legislative Council’s Twitter account.