I was delighted to read today that the growing number of small bars in our city is helping boost Sydney's live music scene - Size doesn't matter for Sydney's top small music venues
One of the main reasons I championed small bars as both an MP and Lord Mayor was to encourage more live music, so it's fantastic to see Sydney's small bars leading the local live music revival.
Late night culture in Sydney is changing and our reputation is growing as a city with quirky small bars, contemporary dining and vibrant culture.
In 2008, the State Government agreed to new laws to enable small bars, responding to the "raise the bar" community campaign and my Liquor Amendment (Small Bars and Restaurants) Bill. Since then, around 80 small bars have opened in the City, with many more across the Sydney metropolitan area.
Late last year, the City introduced a new action plan to encourage live music in Sydney. This nationally significant plan aims to create new opportunities for musicians and performers. It also tackles issues such as regulatory barriers, the availability of space to rehearse and perform, developing new audiences, and providing opportunities for young people to enjoy and play live music.
For many years, Sydney enjoyed a reputation for extraordinary live performers and bands. But poker machines, large sports screens in pubs and tough regulations put pressure on live venues, resulting in fewer opportunities for live music.
Reviving Sydney's live music scene is a challenge that will require long-term investment from all levels of government, but the City is committed to taking immediate action wherever we can and it's great to see that we're starting to see some positive changes.