Entertainment Act Review - MusicNSW

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Review of the Entertainment Industry Act

The NSW Government is seeking input into a review of the Entertainment Industry Act 1989. The Entertainment Industry Act was established to provide consumer protection for performers by requiring that entertainment industry agents, managers and venue consultants obtain a licence and comply with rules about how much they can charge and what accounts they must be keep.

The Better Regulation Office reviewed the licensing regime in April 2009 and found that it was not working as intended. In response to that review, the NSW Government agreed to remove the licensing regime, subject to reforms to the Act to ensure other consumer protections are operating efficiently and effectively. This review will assist in the development of those reforms.

The review is being undertaken jointly by the Better Regulation Office and the Office of Industrial Relations.

An Options Paper has been released for public comment. The Options Paper sets out proposals for reform, along with further information on the review and how to make a submission.

Submissions close Monday 3 August 2009.


The NSW Government regulates agents, managers and venue consultants through the Entertainment Industry Act 1989. The Act was bought into force in response to practices in the entertainment industry that made performers vulnerable to unscrupulous or unprofessional dealings.

Objectives of the Act
(a) to promote the development and growth of the entertainment industry, and
(b) to provide for the development of codes of ethics for the entertainment industry, and
(c) to provide a forum for the hearing and resolution of complaints in the entertainment industry, and
(d) to develop a framework that will provide for the self-regulation of the entertainment industry.


Rationale for licensing regime

The licensing regime is established under the Entertainment Industry Act 1989 and the Entertainment Industry Regulation 2004. The principal objective of the Act is to
ensure that entertainment industry representatives (defined as ‘agents, ‘managers and ‘venue consultants) are appropriately qualified and that their dealings with performers and employers are structured so as to protect the performers.

The Act is intended to reduce the risk of unscrupulous, unqualified or substandard persons from representing performers and thereby causing them possible financial  detriment, loss of industry advancement and diminished public standing.

How the licensing regime operates

It is an offence for a person to carry on the business of an entertainment industry/agent, manager or venue consultant without an appropriate licence. An industry representative may require more than one type of licence according to the range of activities that the person conducts in relation to a performer.

In order to be eligible for an annual licence, an applicant must satisfy a ‘fit’ and proper/person test, be able to conduct a business in the entertainment industry in a proper and business-like manner and exhibit relevant entertainment industry knowledge or experience.

The Act also provides for other forms of regulation including trust accounts, monetary/bonds, fee commission setting and industry relationship constraints.

2003: Review of the Act
The Act was the subject of a National Competition Policy review in 2003. ‘The review’ examined the requirements for industry licensing, fee payment restrictions and trust accounts/monetary bonds.

The review found there to be sufficient justification for the retention of the regulatory provisions including substantial benefits from:

  • The promotion of professional standards amongst service providers
  • A reduction in scope for the possible exploitation of young and inexperienced performers
  • The provision of a standard for fee payments, and
  • The facilitation of transparent business dealings by service providers with performers.

Accordingly, the review did not recommend changes to the Act.

2008: Occupation Licencing Review

Following the  2008 consumer policy review, the Productivity Commission identified a number of occupations that require licensing only in New South Wales, or in New South Wales and one or two other States or Territories. As these requirements are not considered necessary in most States and Territories, the Commission found it reasonable to question the need for a number of licences.

The Better Regulations Office conducted a review of 11 NSW licences to assess the ongoing need for licensing, the Entertainment industry agent/manager and Venue consultant was included in this review. The Better Regulations Office stated that licences’ should only continue if a clear net benefit could be identified.

Following this review process the Better Regulations released the report below.

Media Releases
April 11 2009: Licence Cuts Save Time and Money
July 6 2009: Performers To Get Better Deal

Legislation and Reports
Better Regulation Office Report: Licensing of Selected Occupations
Entertainment Industry Act 1989 (NSW)
NSW Office of Industrial Relations: Guide to the Entertainment Industry Act

MusicNSW Submissions
Music NSW Response to Review of Occupation Licensing under the Entertainment Industry Act 1989 (NSW)