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Permanent LinkDec 3, 2008 
:surprised2: "Really badly talented" buskers face being banned from the CBD as part of a bid by Melbourne's new lord mayor to clean up the city streets.

Hours after his election win, Robert Doyle said tougher rules and regulations were needed to keep the streets free of bad performers.

"I am a bit sick of really badly talented buskers, let me tell you," he told Radio 3AW.

"They actually do need to be properly licensed and regulated so that we are not just assaulted by a whole lot of different sounds every 10 metres along the footpath."

Mr Doyle also touted a Bourke Street police station and a theme park to attract more families to the CBD at night.

"I don't want the city to be a bogan magnet," he said.

"People are sick of someone warbling out of tune every 10 metres or so," Mr Doyle said.

"You've got to have some talent at least. They seem to me to be a little short of talent.

"I want to know how they are licensed and regulated."

Terry Noone, secretary of the Musician's Union, said buskers were self-regulating. "If these people are no good, they won't get any money and they'll be gone," he said.

"What Mr Doyle is attacking is an example of a free market approach that, given his political background, he should actually be encouraging.

"And whose version of rubbish is this anyway? Are we talking about Mr Doyle's musical tastes here?"

About 700 buskers received 12-month permits in the past year.

Buskers are required to pass an audition in front of council officers before permits are issued. Noise limits also apply.

Only Bourke St has designated busking sites. Permits are also granted to footpath artists and circus-style performers.

Busking is not permitted in Swanston St between Flinders and Collins Sts.

Buskers must obey a code of conduct that bans begging. Selling CDs is only allowed with council's permission.

Britt Smith
The Age

Ian Royall and Megan Miller
Herald Sun


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Bwana Busker

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