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“Full-scale cull” of Aus live scene in new budget

The music industry is "completely missing" from the 2016 federal budget, says Live Performance Australia

By IQ on 04 May 2016

Stereosonic 2010, Ryan Polei

Tilt-shifted crowds at Stereosonic 2010


image © Ryan Polei

Australian trade association Live Performance Australia (LPA) has criticised the country’s 2016 federal budget, unveiled by the Liberal-National coalition government last night, for failing the live music industry.

LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson says: “This budget is supposed to be focused on jobs and growth. But the live performance industry and the broader arts industry are completely missing from the government’s vision for the Australian economy.”

Richardson notes that the budget fails to address the “imminent threat of significant job losses and the demise of core companies that are critical to our industry” and expresses her disappointment that the government is to cease funding export office Sounds Australia, “which supports our local music industry overseas”.

Australia lost its fourth music festival in two years with the demise of Stereosonic in April, while music venues in New South Wales and Queensland  are suffering under restrictive ‘lock-out laws’ which force venues, nightclubs, bars to close at 1.30 and 2.00, respectively, in a bid to reduce violence crime.

“These cuts will have huge flow on effects impacting all parts of our industry including the major performing arts companies, venues, festivals and the commercial sector”

LPA president Andrew Kay goes further, describing the 2016 budget as a “full-scale cull” in the context of last year’s cuts to the Australia Council for the Arts.

“We are very concerned that due to unprecedented funding cuts to the Australia Council last year, the legacy of the 2015 budget will become very real next week when the Australia Council makes its funding announcements,” he says.

“We expect to see 40 per cent of our small-to-medium companies lose funding and face going under. That’s 18 to 20 companies that won’t be creating new productions, hundreds of creative and talented Australians out of work and lost revenue.”

“These cuts will have huge flow on effects impacting all parts of our industry including the major performing arts companies, venues, festivals and the commercial sector. We are particularly concerned about losing our creative and technical talent who may be forced to go offshore for work and career development opportunities.”

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