Sounds Australia to keep funding after gov U-turn
Sounds Australia will no longer lose its public funding following a surprise about-face by the Australian government.
The music export office – which was controversially defunded in May’s federal budget, sparking a backlash from the Australian live industry – will receive A$1.16 million over the next four years, arts minister Mitch Fifield has announced.
The funding matches investment from the Australia Council for the Arts and PRO/collection society APRA AMCOS.
“The Australian music industry is full of talent, passion and innovation, and we’re ecstatic that we can continue sharing that with the world”
Millie Millgate, Sounds Australia’s executive producer, says: “Today’s news that the Department of Communications and the Arts is supporting Sounds Australia for the next four years is exactly the result we’ve been hoping for. It’s testament to the value of the national export platform and subsequent success Australian artists are enjoying around the world.
“We can’t thank the local and international industry enough for the support they’ve shown over the past months as we’ve worked towards a funding solution. The Australian music industry is full of talent, passion and innovation, and we’re ecstatic that we can continue sharing that with the world.”
Investment in music a vote-winner in Australia
A commitment to financial support for the music industry will affect how many Australians vote in the upcoming general election, a survey by collection society APRA AMCOS has revealed.
An overwhelming 98% of the 9,858 people who responded to APRA AMCOS (the Australasian Performing Right Association and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners’ Society)’s Support Australian Music survey said they believe the Australian government should invest in its music industry, with 72% going so far as to say that a commitment to a significant investment in Australian music would influence their vote in 2 July’s federal election.
Nearly a third of respondents live in marginal seats. The Australian reports that opposition leader Bill Shorten only needs to win over some 30,000 voters to snatch victory from Malcolm Turnbull’s governing Liberal/National coalition.
72% of respondents said that a commitment to a significant investment in Australian music would influence their vote in 2 July’s federal election
The last Australian federal budget, which defunded export office Sounds Australia, was heavily criticised by live music industry figures, with the concert and broader music/arts sector “completely missing from the government’s vision for the Australian economy”, said Live Performance Australia’s Evelyn Richardson.
APRA AMCOS has previously recommended giving some form of tax rebate to Australia’s live music venues.
According to Live Performance Australia, live music generates A$2 billion annually for Australia. The University of Tasmania estimates that every $1 spent on live music returns $3 to the wider Australian economy.