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APRA AMCOS applauds the establishment of Music Australia

Media Published Monday 30 January 2023

Australia’s largest music industry body representing the rights of over 115,000 songwriters, composers and publishers across Australasia, APRA AMCOS applauds the Australian Government’s injection of $70 million with the commitment to establish Music Australia – a national music development agency.

“The creation of Music Australia with recurrent annual funding will, for the first time in the nation’s history, provide an opportunity for a whole-of-government, cross-portfolio, strategic and long-term relationship with the breadth of the Australian contemporary music industry,” said Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS Chief Executive.

“This is a profound vote of confidence in the cultural, economic and social potential of Australian music. The Albanese Government has clearly listened to the proposals that have been put forward by the eighteen music industry bodies as part of the national cultural policy consultation.”

As part of the release of the national cultural policy, the Government will transform its support for the music industry with the creation of a new body called Music Australia, an independent entity within the new Creative Australia. It will be charged with: industry and market development for contemporary music; investment in the creation of original music, songwriting and recording initiatives in schools; new strategic partnerships; research; funding for the export program Sounds Australia; and new co-investment agreements with states and territories.

“With this partnership between government and industry, Australia now has the potential to go from a music nation to a music powerhouse that can fully realise the benefits of a vibrant, healthy and sustainable music industry,” said Dean Ormston.

“Australian songwriters, composers and recording artists create digital content from bedrooms to studios around the nation. It’s recorded, published and made available for streaming platforms and broadcasters, digital games, films and the small screen. They are born global – part of a US$90billion industry that will double by 2030.

“Music’s very foundation is a thriving and sustainable live music ecology – that’s where artists develop their craft and build their audiences. Over-regulation and now COVID-19 have closed so many venues and threatened the viability of so many more. To reverse this trend, the industry will require a national catalyst to support existing venues and encourage new venues.”

In an address to the National Press Club in 2020, music industry luminary and APRA Chair Jenny Morris MNZM OAM set an ambition for Australia to sit alongside the US, UK and Sweden to become a net exporter of music in the next ten years.

“This announcement cannot be underestimated. For the last century Australian contemporary music has been pretty much absent in cultural policy development,” APRA Chair Jenny Morris said.

“We also applaud the Australian Government’s commitment and investment in First Nations-led cultural and creative practice. This is a serious signal from government of the importance and centrality of First Nations artists.

“The government’s decision to also establish a Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces addresses many of the fears and frustrations of music industry workers who face systemic discrimination, bullying, harassment or assault. Recent events have been debilitating, compounding for many decades, where colleagues have not felt seen or supported. Rebuilding the industry for the better will let us all regain not just our mojo but our self-worth and confidence, and that will lead to even greater creative output,” Jenny Morris said.

The recently published Raising Their Voices report was a watershed moment for the music industry. APRA AMCOS is fully committed to working with our colleagues in the industry to implement the recommendations of the report and support the work of the Centre Arts and Entertainment Workplaces.

“We also commend the Albanese Government's commitment to ensure that Australians continue to be able to see and hear quality home-grown content, regardless of platform,” Dean Ormston said.

“For the screen sector, we support the requirement of a significant level of investment by streaming services in local screen content. We urge the government to ensure these measures include commitments to local screen music composition and a framework to support the development of local intellectual property.

“For the music sector, we look forward to working with Government on their commitment to ensure that Australian music is ‘visible, discoverable and easily accessible across platforms to all Australians’. This is vital to achieve Australia’s ambition to be a net exporter of music.

“The next ten years will be critical if Australia is to realise future job creation and build skills in music – one of the fastest-growing and most competitive global industries at the forefront of cultural expression, community building, innovation, and economic growth.

“The National Cultural Policy’s support for Australian contemporary music will enable the vision, build the strategy, and secure the investment that supercharges Australian music, leaving a legacy for generations.”