2nd October 2011. First published in Issue 2 of the Warragul Citizen, released on the 28th of September 2011.
LOCAL musicians are being forced to busk in Melbourne due to the high costs of a busking permit from the Baw Baw Shire council.
Local musician Daniel Hartnell, 17, is one of many musicians who have found Baw Baw’s permit pricing exclusive. He is part of Trafalgar four piece band “Wishful Thinking.”
Mr Hartnell told The Warragul Citizen a Baw Baw permit is not competitive with Melbourne permits.
“Busking in Melbourne makes it easier for a teenager like myself to both make money and get some experience in performing to the public,” Mr Hartnell said.
“Currently, the Baw Baw Shire makes it difficult for solo artists to perform in public.”
A busking permit from the Baw Baw Shire costs $65 annually, whereas a permit from the Melbourne City Council costs $30 for two years, with each additional year costing $10.
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This difference is exacerbated by the greater number of people in Melbourne, making the effort of travelling more worthwhile.
When asked what would help encourage local musicians to return to busking in Baw Baw, Mr Hartnell suggested lowering the cost of a permit.
“If the Baw Baw Shire were to drop their fee dramatically so it would be reasonable to busk in, [sic] I, as well as many other young artists that I know, would be enticed to come back and perform locally,” Mr Hartnell said.
Acting Director of Compliance and Corporate Services for the Baw Baw Shire Tim Frederico told The Warragul Citizen that the council has “not discussed any change to [the] policy.”
The Baw Baw Shire does however provide other support for local musicians. Mr Frederico stated that there is no permit fee for buskers “who only intend to play during the Christmas period.”
Mr Hartnell is also a member of the Baw Baw Shire’s FReeza committee, which provides young local musicians with venues to play at. But according to Mr Hartnell, the program’s effectiveness is limited.
“It is hard for a small committee to organise [many] events,” Mr Hartnell said.
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