If we are not careful Melbourne could become a carpark

If we are not careful Melbourne could become a carpark
Adam Bandt

Melbourne is the greatest city in Australia, because of our culture, our gigs, our food, our pubs and our art. We all know that. And, we all know that after two long years of lockdown, our arts and entertainment industry is on its knees. 

The pandemic’s latest peak may have passed but the fight to retain the cultural heart of this place we all love so much has just begun. The Greens and I will lead this fight. We can lead it because we don’t take donations from big property developers. 

The news that The John Curtin Hotel is being sold off for car parks and flats to big property developers is devastating. We have to fight for places like the Curtin Hotel. It isn’t just a critical Melbourne live music venue; it is part of our shared cultural heritage.  

In this pub, thousands of young activists, unionists, musos and radicals have shared pots and pints, arguments and ideas for generations. 

And it wasn’t just the debates with mates, or new friends made, it was a sense of belonging to something. A shared political culture, of being part of the fight for a better life for all. For shared joy and collective struggle. 

Now, it could be turned into a carpark and expensive apartments. 

The Greens have written to Daniel Andrews, urging him to step in and help a not-for-profit consortium buy the John Curtin so it can stay as a live music venue and continue to be part of our cultural and political scene. 

We have all faced sacrifices because of the pandemic, but we cannot sacrifice who we are if we want to continue to be iconic. 

We are also urging the government to provide long-term, guaranteed funding to arts and entertainment venues - as well as a living wage for artists, entertainers and musos. They cannot be allowed to go under, as some simply may not resurface. 

We need a long-term plan. We need to recognise that it’s not coal and gas we should be exporting, but artists, entertainment, hospitality and music. But to do that we need to rebuild our city. We need to make sure we don’t lose all the incredible venues, the people behind the scenes, the patrons and the bookers. 

Another important part of keeping our local community vibrant and liveable are our local green spaces. I’m keen to hear if you have any tree-planting project ideas. If your school or community organisation would like to apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to plant trees or other related activities like preparing sites, installing protective guards around plantings and installing drip irrigation, please get in touch with my office •

Contact Adam Bandt:

adambandt.com/community-grants or phone 9417 0772

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