How volunteer police helped Tropical Fruits to go ahead
THE NSW Government imposed extra regulations to Lismore's Tropical Fruits last year, despite the fact new music event measures only come into effect on March 1, and the extra costs involved were 'saved' by gay and lesbian members of the NSW Police force who donated their time so the New Year's event could go ahead.
Tropical Fruits secretary of the Management Committee, Neil Hendrix, confirmed their treasurer, Greg Jakes, signed a statement issued by 11 music festival producers after they met at the NSW Parliament, asking the Berejiklian government to "stop killing live music in NSW" and form a round table where the music industry and event producers are part of the dialogue.
Mr Hendrix said the NSW Government approached the Tropical Fruits last year with new regulations.
"We were made aware of the changes for our New Year's festival I'd say around six or so weeks our from the event," he explained.
"We had the opportunity with NSW Government and the Office of Liquor and Gaming to implement what was required at that point in time."
Asked how the new regulations impacted the event's bottom-line, Mr Hendrix said the impact was mitigated by some volunteers.
"It did require additional outlays from Tropical Fruits, but we were fortunate that some of those costs were minimised for us," he said.
"We were fortunate to have some NSW GLLO (Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers) police officers donate some of their time towards what we had to contribute. That definitely helped us and we were very appreciative of that.
"Going forward this will not always going to be a certainty so we need to look at how will that work in regards to our overall budget."
Asked how did the NSW Government justify imposing new regulations in 2019 ahead of them being rolled out on March 1 2019, Mr Hendrix said the authorities offer a clear explanation.
"From what I understand (...) I believe it was a pilot program, a trial run in the lead up top the release of the final policy."
Tropical Fruits is now looking at what the new music event guidelines will be, and how it could impact its bottom line, as a community event run by a social group.
"It's going to be an interesting year for Tropical Fruits in terms of organisational processes, to work out how we put that policy in place," Mr Hendrix said.