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Industry orgs welcome music investment package in Oz

The Australian government has dedicated a AUS$30.9m funding package to live music, prompting praise from music associations but criticisms from the wider cultural sector

By Anna Grace on 03 Apr 2019

Australian Music Industry Package

Minister for communication and the arts, Mitch Fifield


image © Australian Government

Music industry associations across Australia have spoken out in favour of the government’s decision to dedicate a A$30.9 million (US$22m) funding package in its latest federal budget.

The Australian Music Industry Package has set aside $22.5m (US$16m) in funding to provide $10,000 grants for Australian small businesses, assisting them in hosting more live music events.

A further $4.8m is dedicated to new mentoring programmes to encourage greater representation of women and indigenous (Aborigines/Torres Strait Islanders) artists, and $2m will be used to boost touring opportunities. National music export development initiative Sounds Australia will receive $1.6m to help its expansion into Asian markets.

The government will also invest $3.4m in specialist music education programmes.

“Australia’s local music industry is one of our most important cultural exports, contributing up to $6 billion to our economy each year,” comments minister for communication and the arts, Mitch Fifield.

“This investment is about removing roadblocks for Australian musicians and boosting their profile in a competitive global market.”

“This investment is about removing roadblocks for Australian musicians and boosting their profile in a competitive global market”

The budget allocation has been lauded by industry organisations including the Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (APRA AMCOS), Sounds Australia and the Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN).

“The Morrison government has recognised that Australia is a music nation. Of all the art forms Australians engage with, music is by far the most popular,” says APRA AMCOS chief executive Dean Ormston.

“This package will be a boon for the pipeline of talent coming from across the nation and now exporting to the world. We applaud this diverse and multi-layered approach to support one of Australia’s great flagship industries,” adds Ormston.

Ormston also commends the government for taking into account the recommendations made by the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts following an inquiry into the Australian music industry.

The committee advised the government to increase investment in live music and touring, facilitate the expansion of Sound Australia’s music export programme and develop music education.

Sound Australia posted on social media, saying: “We welcome today’s announcement by senator Mitch Fifield on a funding boost for Sounds Australia. We’ve seen firsthand the increasing appetite for Australian music internationally and we are thrilled to be expanding our reach into Asia and other important emerging markets to help find new audiences for Australian artists and music businesses.”

“We are disappointed that the government has not done more to leverage the significant economic and cultural value of all live performance or the creative industries more broadly”

AMIN simply called the funding “great news” for the music industry.

However, representatives from other creative industries, specifically the wider live performance sector, have criticised the government for not meeting their needs.

“We are disappointed that the government has not done more to leverage the significant economic and cultural value of all live performance or the creative industries more broadly,” says Live Performance Australia (LPA) chief executive Evelyn Richardson.

“Live performance promotes Australian talent and creativity across a range of genres and is a major driver of our visitor and night time economy, attracting visitors from interstate and overseas,” adds Richardson.

“In the context of a vote buying budget, this is clear statement that arts and culture are not seen as ballot box issues,” comments Shelagh Magadza, executive director of the chamber of arts and culture (Western Australia).

“With the exception of the Contemporary Music fund, there is nothing that provides a meaningful boost for the sector based on a longer term vision,” says Magadza.

 


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