NSW Police under fire for ‘Price Gouging’ festivals with bills rivaling the cost of a small island

Looks like the NSW police are playing a game of “Let’s see who we can charge the most for festival policing.”

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann is waving the finger at our pals in blue, accusing our pals in blue aka the NSW Police of “price gouging”music festivals.

Apparently, organising a music festival in NSW is like handing over your wallet and your first-born child. One festival even got slapped with a policing bill that could buy you a small island somewhere.

The Australian Festival Association (AFA) is chiming in too, confirming that NSW is the VIP section of the policing cost club. One festival got hit with a $67,000 bill in NSW, while the same shindig in Queensland had a tab of just $37,000. Victoria? They practically got a policing discount, paying a measly $7,500 for the privilege of hosting 30,000 music lovers.

Mitch Wilson of the Australian Festival Association (AFA) is raising an eyebrow at the substantial policing costs in NSW. He’s saying there’s no justifiable reason for these sky-high expenses compared to Victoria or Queensland – apparently, NSW isn’t the wild west after all.

Cate Faehrmann, the Greens party guru, is giving the side-eye to the increased use of sniffer dogs and the police parade at NSW festivals. She’s not buying that it’s all for show, especially with incidents like the Knockout music festival fatalities raising doubts about the current safety approach.

Minister John Graham, the mastermind behind Music and the Night-time Economy, is acknowledging the financial strains on NSW festivals. The government is rolling up its sleeves and tackling the issue head-on by reviewing the Music Festivals Act 2019, with all the juicy details set to drop next year.

Graham is all about teamwork, throwing a collaboration fiesta between Liquor and Gaming, Health, Police, and the industry to ensure the well-being of festival attendees and keep the music festival sector thriving.