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Federal budget delivers on funding to Australian music

Media Published Tuesday 9 May 2023

APRA AMCOS, the region’s largest music industry body which represents the rights of over 115,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers across Australasia welcomes the long-term and secure investment of $69.4 million over four years for contemporary music in the 2023-24 Federal Budget.

“This represents the first time in the Commonwealth’s history that government has committed to long-term development of Australian music as a creative industry. This funding will deliver on the Australian Government’s national cultural policy commitment to establish a national music development agency – Music Australia,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston.

“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.”

APRA AMCOS also applauds the $35.5 million investment in First Nations arts and culture, $8.1 million for the establishment of the Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces including funding for Support Act as well as the investment of $2.6 million in school arts education programs, including songwriting, to ensure the pipeline of musical talent across the nation is rich and diverse.

“With this new long-term investment framework, 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,” Dean Ormston said.

“APRA AMCOS was one of the key representative bodies of the Australian contemporary music industry that came together as part of the National Cultural Policy consultation to propose a plan to revolutionise government policy and investment in the music industry.

“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 global creative industries at the forefront of cultural expression, community building, innovation, and economic growth.

“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 an industry that will be worth US$140 billion by 2030.

“APRA AMCOS will work closely with the Australian Government to ensure the legislation and the establishment of a Music Australia advisory group reflects the aims of the body as outlined in the national cultural policy.

“We will also continue to work with government to ensure that live music, as the foundation of the industry’s development, is thriving and sustainable for the long-term. Over-regulation, bad planning and the pandemic forced the closure of so many venues. To reverse this trend, the industry will require a national catalyst to support existing venues and encourage new venues.

“We also 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 and ensure the sound of Australia is heard across broadcast, streaming and screen platforms.

“With this Federal Budget, coordination with state and territory governments and the right policy settings in place, the nation has the potential to supercharge Australian music, leaving a legacy for generations,” Dean Ormston said.

For over fifteen years, APRA AMCOS has successfully initiated and led industry and government co-investment strategies, developing highly regarded capacity building programs, most notably: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO), SongMakers songwriting program in schools, the Live Music Office to review the impact of policy frameworks and government regulation on the live music sector, SongHubs curated songwriting intensives and the music export program Sounds Australia.