The latest plan to liven up Rockhampton's music scene

STREET performers could soon pocket more money for their talents as they add to the vibrancy of Rockhampton and surrounds.

The Rockhampton CBD internal reference group found the process to apply for a busking permit a disincentive for local and passing performers to take their talents to the street.

Rockhampton Regional Council charges $149 for the first month and $50 each month thereafter for a busking permit, but the group proposes it be scrapped altogether.

RRC Planning and Regulatory Services manager Steven Gatt yesterday told the RRC's Planning and Regulatory Committee the initiative would help progress the CBD's revitalisation with potential to extend to Mount Morgan and other areas across the region.

Proposed sites include the Rockhampton CBD, bounded by the Fitzroy River, Albert St, Stanley St and Denison St as well as Conaghan Park in Gracemere, and Morgan St in Mount Morgan.

"We would watch the uptake in the community for future opportunities... and progressively update policies on locations,” he said.

Performance quality and regulations on sound were discussed, with Mr Gatt confirming council would have the final say over who would be granted a permit and proposed buskers seek written permission from business owners before setting up in front of them.

He suggested the empty shop fronts could offer a perfect position, and that council regulate amplifying devices.

Mr Gatt proposed buskers renew their licence monthly to allow them to decide whether to continue, and make way for artists passing through to add to diversity.

The submission is pending approval in Tuesday's full council meeting.

Busking permit fees in other council areas:

  • Livingstone Shire Council: Free permit
  • Mackay Regional Council: Free one-month permit
  • Brisbane City Council: Free permit, auditions required for Queens Street Mall, Raddacliff Place or Valley Malls
  • Ipswich City Council: One-off fee $29; monthly $60 and annual $225
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council: $78 per financial year, unlimited, half price for minors.
  • Toowoomba Regional Council: Free three-month permit
  • Townsville City CounciL: Free, unlimited time

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