Mr HOGAN (Page) (12:58): I would like to acknowledge the member for Richmond for moving this motion to honour not only Bluesfest but also the director, Peter Noble.
The member for Richmond’s electorate is just north of mine.
The Byron Bay hinterland extends into the seat of Page.
I commend the member for Richmond for getting out so much information in such a short space of time.
I will certainly not even try to get close to getting out as much information as you have—I applaud it.
I want to repeat a couple of points that the member for Richmond made, which I think tell a big story about Bluesfest.
I see the member for Watson is in the chamber.
I saw you at the Boomerang Festival, and you obviously go to the Bluesfest Festival as well, which is wonderful.
I think the economic benefit of the festival is something that we need to acknowledge.
It has become not only a music festival but also a tourist destination for a lot of people.
It was in 1990, as was mentioned, that this festival began, and 6,000 people went through the gates in 1990; as the member for Richmond said, that has now grown to 140,000 people over five days.
Those are easy figures to say, but I think that we need to acknowledge the work and the vision that that has taken.
This is obviously a wonderful, iconic event.
The event is held over the Easter long weekend.
The Easter long weekend in our region has been renowned for bad weather occasionally, but that has certainly not deterred the people who keep going to the Bluesfest.
And, as I said, there is a very wide spin-off of economic benefits.
Obviously a lot of people fly into Ballina, in the federal electorate of Page, to go to this event, and they then stay all over the hinterland and in surrounding towns.
As I have said to Peter, this is a great benefit of the festival—a wonderful thing that it does.
Not everyone goes to the festival for four days, and the wider region has a lot to offer to visitors and tourists.
The award was mentioned.
I had a look this morning to see what awards this event had won, and I could have spent my whole five minutes talking about the awards the Bluesfest has won.
It has won many tourism awards and awards across a whole range of categories too numerous to mention.
The most recent of those—and it is not an insignificant award—was the Rolling Stone award for the director Peter Noble.
This is not only an Australian event; it has become an international event.
I have been a few times and not only the artists but many people who are there to appreciate the artists have travelled not only from every state of Australia but from countries all around the world.
That is wonderful.
A few artists were mentioned.
Madam Deputy Speaker Griggs, I encourage you to come; I think that not only would you love the area, and I am sure you have been before, but you would very much appreciate the artists as well: John Mayer, Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs—you would remember Boz Scaggs, Madam Deputy Speaker—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mrs Griggs ): I do remember Boz Scaggs.
Mr HOGAN: and the Doobie Brothers were there.
I did not get to see the Doobie Brothers, but we did go and see Aaron Neville.
Aaron Neville is a real favourite of my wife’s. Aaron has aged, but I tell you what: he can still belt it out. There was Troy Cassar-Daley—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That’s my husband’s favourite.
Mr HOGAN: Well, Madam Deputy Speaker, Troy Cassar-Daley, who is from the Grafton community in the electorate of Page, was there performing as well, and he is a great Australian artist.
In finishing—and I have mentioned this before—I will say that it takes great entrepreneurial spirit to do this.
Peter had other partners at the start; he now owns the whole thing outright, having bought out the other partners.
It takes great entrepreneurial spirit to do this—that whole have-a-go mentality that we love in this chamber and that we want to support.
Peter has done a great job with this. He has epitomised that spirit and mentality.
He has staff to manage and artists to coordinate.
There is the whole logistics of it.
It takes place at Tyagarah now, and the physicality of what he has built and manufactured there is wonderful.
As was raised before, the dollar value is in the tens of millions—over $64 million—just in direct input to the local economy from this event.
So I congratulate Peter for that.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge that—while we are acknowledging Peter and his work on the blues festival—Peter has extended this, and now, at a different time of the year, in October, we have the Boomerang Festival, a wonderful festival which celebrates Indigenous artists.
That festival was new last year, and I think it will continue to grow into our community and be another wonderful cultural event in the wider Northern Rivers community.