7 May 2010 / Jim Murray
The Tote 1 – Sue MacLellan 0
Well it’s not quite as simple as that but it makes for a very satisfying headline to read, doesn’t it? Tone Deaf has been all over Melbourne music venues’ struggles against liquor licensing like a bad dose of the clap since The Tote was forced to shut down in January, and the good news is that enemy number one Sue MacLellan is unemployed.
Not only will the pub formerly known as The Tote be opening again as a live music venue in about a month’s time, it’s also most pleasing to indulge in a little schadenfreude to take note of the fact that the Director of Liquor Licensing Victoria, Sue MacLellan, had her contract end this week. Yep, she could well be down at Centrelink next week along with all the unemployed Tote staff and musos whom she tried to force out of what is a hand to mouth existence anyway.
MacLellan’s five year term ran out and her contract has not been renewed. Nor has she been replaced – the Liquor Licensing Authority is being merged with the Government body overseeing Gaming in the state which makes her role redundant. While the loss of a number of live music venues makes this a pyrrhic victory, it’s hard not to smile and dream of a Centrelink worker making her go to a work for the dole program to retrain as something that suits her skill set. Tone Deaf suggests a City of Yarra parking inspector might be right up her alley.
Meanwhile, City of Melbourne Mayor Councillor Robert Doyle and Councillor Cathy Oke were happy to ride the live music vote at a media event at Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane yesterday, where they announced a council-backed Melbourne Music festival, to run from September 29 for 12 days which aims to promote live music in Melbourne. At the event speakers from the City of Melbourne and Victoria Police both backed the bleeding obvious and agreed with the live music community’s view that there was no link between live music and violence in and around venues hosting it.
Watch some footage from the SLAM Rally earlier this year