Council gives street performers green light

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Georgia Kidd and Deni Davidson from PAWS. Photo: Melinda Jane

From singers to dancers and even contortionists, Penrith Council is ready to bring some colour and energy to the area by embracing street performers.

Council has adopted a Draft Street Performers Policy in a bid to activate both St Marys and Penrith city centres.

It aims to encourage street performing that will contribute to the vibrancy, liveliness and ambiance of the Penrith LGA while providing local opportunities for performers.

Rebecca Liu-Brennan, Principal of PAWS Studios in South Penrith, believes the move will provide more support for local talent in a fun environment.

“I really feel like we don’t do enough for our local talent in this area,” she said.

“We often get people come in and perform, but there are so many performance studios here like us that will benefit from this, even the cheerleading school will benefit.”

While PAWS is known as a leading dance and circus school in western Sydney, Ms Liu-Brennan said having less stressful opportunities outside of competitions to allow kids and adults to perform will benefit the whole community by spreading joy.

“That’s so much more important I feel,” she said.

“It’s about entertaining the community. We tell our students, if you have the power to make people feel a certain way when you’re performing then that’s the gift you’ve given the audience.”

Councillors adopted the plan at Monday night’s Policy Review Committee meeting with excitement for what the policy can bring to the area, while ensuring the public interest is protected and that performances will take place in safe and appropriate environments.

“I think it’s great that we actually have a policy that can direct people where to go,” Cr Kath Presdee said.

Five locations in Penrith and four in St Marys have been identified as sites for street performances and anyone wishing to perform within the Penrith LGA must hold a valid permit from Council.

The policy will be introduced in the coming weeks and Council is currently interested to hear from anyone wanting to start street performing.

For more information, call Dimity Mullane on 4732 7952 or 0429 905 046.

Emily Newton

Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.

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