With election day fast approaching, and as the major parties spruik their final pledges, Australia’s music industry bands-together to enter its collective voice into the mix.
ARIA, APRA, AMCOS, LPA, ALMBC, AAM and 10 other Australian music industry bodies today (May 11) lay out a three-point plan which they hope will be carried into the Federal Election and beyond.
In an open letter, the industry calls on the nation’s leaders to prioritise issues around direct investment in the creation of homegrown music; skills development and global exports; incentivising the use of local content on streaming and broadcast platforms; a federally implemented and government-backed insurance system, similar to those in place in New Zealand and element; and more.
It’s all packaged under the helpful header, “Live, Local, Digital, Global.”
Just before COVID-19, Australian music was worth $16 billion annual, and “was on a trajectory of extraordinary growth as one of the country’s great success stories,” the message reads.
“With a pipeline of talent coming from across the nation and with the advent of the next digital revolution, Australia has been fostering the development of an artform in an industry capturing the hearts and minds of millions at home and around the globe.”
Australians go to the polls May 21, for an election that “provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Australian music to pick up from where it left off,” the message continues. “It is an opportunity to learn from the pandemic and build a better, more sustainable, innovative, and successful cultural asset at the forefront of community building and the next digital revolution, supporting the artists of today while fostering new waves of talent and driving the changes to global music consumption.”
The industry’s three-point plan is:
1. Support rebuild – skills, music creation & export
• Provide traineeships and skills retraining programs to address critical skills shortages in metro and regional areas
• Wage support and additional funding to Support Act for ongoing crisis relief and to help the industry create sustainable cultural and behavioural change around mental health and wellbeing for artists and industry workers
• Expand the Australian Music Industry program to foster the growth of First Nations led music, Sounds Australia and music export, women in music mentors, touring and new programs for young people and diversity initiatives
• Invest in new Australian music through an annual Commonwealth Fellowship Program through living wage support of artists, songwriters & composers
• Establish a national mentorship and industry development program to help develop the skills of artists, songwriters, producers, managers, sound engineers and music industry workers
2. Drive investment – local content & certainty for local audiences
• Incentivise the visibility, use and discoverability of local content across all screen and audio digital platforms as well as commercial and community broadcasters
• Provide a tax offset for live music to encourage new investment in activity across the country
• Establish a Commonwealth-backed insurance scheme to increase industry confidence to invest in the creation and presentation of music across the nation
3. Ensure sustainability – strengthen intellectual property & policy review
• Enhance tech innovation by strengthening intellectual property protection for music in the digital economy to ensure artists get a return on their creations
• Partner with industry to support the recommendations of the Music Industry Review into sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination
• Undertake a ‘Green Paper’ Review of the policy settings supporting the creation, investment and pathways to market for Australian music
Though Australia’s music community consistently delivers on the global stage, the new wave of acts, which includes Genesis Owusu and Budjerah, have struggled to have their music heard due to the pandemic.
“We cannot risk losing a whole generation of young Australian artists with the potential to be recognised on the same global stage as Flume, Rufus Du Sol, Tame Impala and plenty of others,” comments ARIA and PPCA CEO Annabelle Herd.
Other industry bodies signed up to the alliance include Support Act, AIR, AMIN and AFA.
“We urge the Federal Government and Federal Opposition to partner with the Australian music industry on the next chapter of our national story,” the open letter continues.
Australia has “the potential to go from a music nation to a music powerhouse. A powerhouse that can fully realise the cultural, economic, and social benefits of an even healthier music industry accessible to all Australians. A partnership approach with the Australian music industry will foster the future of jobs and build the skills in one of the fastest growing global industries at the forefront of community, innovation and economic growth.”
Read the three-point plan here and here.
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