Busker happy with decision

Andrew Finlay will have plenty to sing about now that busking has been legalised in the Whitsundays.
Andrew Finlay will have plenty to sing about now that busking has been legalised in the Whitsundays.

WHITSUNDAY busking enthusiast Andrew Finlay was on top of the world after Whitsunday Regional Council resolved last week to allow busking between 9am and midnight seven days a week.

“I was pretty stoked,” he said last Wednesday after the Council meeting at PCYC.

“Everyone was stoked to hear about it.”

The 30-year-old Whitsunday resident has been pushing to have busking in the Whitsundays for more than two years.

His passion and persistence have led to encounters with the law.

In February this year, Mr Finlay faced Proserpine Magistrates' Court for the second time in two years because he had been busking illegally.

He was found guilty of soliciting donations in a public place and placed on a $150 bond for three months, with no conviction recorded, after pleading not guilty to the charge.

He behaved himself during that period and is now looking forward to belting out some street tunes for passers-by to enjoy.

And after busking in various places in the past, he is confident that busking will be good for the Whitsundays.

“When people go to Cairns or Byron Bay, they remember the beach, they remember Aboriginal paintings and they remember street musicians,” he said.

“Happy memories that make them want to return one day.

“They leave good comments on travel blogs and take photos, and every time they do it, they promote the area.”

When asked if he thought it would boost tourism in the Whitsundays he replied, “It won't solve it but it will help.”

He also indicated that it may boost his chances with the ladies.

“The girls like to sit down and have a sing-along,” he said.

Mr Finlay wasted little time in applying for a $50 annual busking permit, visiting Council last Friday to fill out the application form.

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