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Three-point plan for the Federal Election campaign

Media Published Wednesday 11 May 2022

The Australian music industry has come together to put forward a three-point plan to promote during the 2022 Federal Election campaign

Music is at the core of how our nation comes together- whether at the local pub, club or our biggest stadiums, in a film, interactive game, broadcast or streamed. It is a key driver of many other sectors and the heart and soul of great night-time economy, hospitality, travel and tourism experiences.

The 2022 Federal Election provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Australian music to build back better. Our vision is for a 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 talent and driving the changes to global music consumption.

Australia has the potential to go from a music nation to a music powerhouse. A partnership approach with the Australian music industry will foster future job creation and build skills in one of the fastest growing global industries at the forefront of community, innovation and economic growth.

We urge the Federal Government and Federal Opposition to partner with the Australian music industry on the next chapter of our national story. With a pipeline of talent coming from across the nation and with the advent of the next digital revolution, Australia can fully realise the cultural, economic, and social benefits of an even healthier music industry accessible to all Australians and exported around the world.

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

Quotes from music industry bodies

“The cultural, social and economic benefits of investing in Australia’s contemporary music industry are substantive and far-reaching. The challenge for government is to develop a smart whole-of-government approach across cultural diplomacy, trade, tourism, small business, education, health and arts to take full advantage of the music industry’s impact. The opportunity for government is to see dividends in employment opportunities throughout the industries that rely heavily on music whether it be hospitality or the visitor economy, and delivering on the huge appetite for Australian music around the world.”
Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS

"A strong music economy and recognition of the true economic and cultural value of local music benefits more than artists and music industry professionals looking to return to touring. The business of music now extends from legacy music catalogues and IP ownership, to gaming and tech industries and everything in between – with the correct government support, this is a significant potential driver of GDP. We currently have an increasingly diverse, important cultural new wave of Australian artists, including Genesis Owusu, Budjerah, and the first Australian ARIA #1 of 2020, Huski. Thanks to COVID these artists have struggled to have their music heard. 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. Whichever party forms government, it is critical that these priorities are addressed, and the real value of music is acknowledged and supported in the same way that the government supports film, TV, and sport.”
Annabelle Herd, ARIA and PPCA

“Australia needs a vibrant arts and entertainment industry, not just to support other Australian industries and contribute to our economic recovery from Covid, but to drive social interaction and well-being in our communities – at a time when it’s never been needed more. We need support from all parties and candidates to drive investment and rebuild skills and capacity in our industry.”
Evelyn Richardson, Live Performance Australia (LPA)

“The live music industry is the training ground of the future Australian music industry. It is where the ecosystem starts and is how artists and music industry workers and businesses get their first start. It’s where the Australian public fall in love with Australian music. The sole traders and small to medium businesses that drive live music in Australia are still recovering from the COVID-19 shutdown. They need targeted investment in skills development and training so we can staff the return of live music long term and a government backed insurance scheme so we can have certainty in the future.”
Stephen Wade, Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC)

“Whoever wins the election on May 21 has an opportunity to fast track the local and global success of great Australian music and leave a legacy for generations to come. The last two years have been devastating for so many in the music industry. But while we’ve been locked down, brilliant Australian songwriters and composers have been creating extraordinary new music that is already travelling the world live, streamed or on screen. RÜFÜS DU SOL, Baker Boy, Tkay Maidza, The Kid LAROI, Gang of Youths, Antonio Gambale and Sampa The Great are just some of the names part of this extraordinary new wave of Australian music. In 2020 I gave a National Press Club address where I set a vision for Australia to become a net exporter in ten years. With the talent we’ve got and the right investment, it’s something Australia can achieve.”
Jenny Morris MNZM OAM, Chair APRA

“The NATSIMO is invested in working alongside music industry bodies and governments to develop programs that support self-determined pathways for our music creators. We want our members to be engaged and ready to participate in an industry that is equally invested in becoming fluent in understanding Indigenous culture and protocols as we collectively as a nation move forward into the next phase of becoming a music powerhouse.”
Leah Flanagan, National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO)

“Australia’s screen music composers are the forefront of some of the most iconic scores for film and television around the world. These screen music composers create not just the soundscape to great screen content, they generate valuable intellectual property for the nation. These creators and creative businesses must be fostered by whoever is election on 21 May if we want Australia to be not just a global location for filming, but also the home to globally relevant screen stories that travel the world.”
Antony Partos, Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC)

As the sector takes vital steps towards rebuilding after a two year hiatus, Australian acts are operating in an increasingly fierce and hyper competitive landscape. The cost of doing business has gone up and will only continue to increase, with agents and managers reporting that their touring costs are increasing from between 20% – 100%. The time is ripe for dedicated, targeted and ongoing investment to support international activity for Australian artists and industry professionals at different stages of their export careers”.
Millie Millgate, Sounds Australia

"One of this country's greatest assets became clear when it was forced to shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic; the Australian Music Industry. We at the Association of Artist Managers represent hard-working, ethical and nurturing Managers who protect, and forge the careers of Artists and Songwriters in an already challenging commercial market. Investment in Artist Managers alone has proven to have a phenomenal return based on the value they give to stakeholders in quantified benefits. With this three-part plan, we are ready to play our part, to not only realise this industry's full potential, but to send it skyrocketing."
Maggie Collins, Association of Artist Managers (AAM)

"Festivals and live music employ thousands while boosting the economy and spreading joy. This election there is an opportunity to invest in the Australian music and live entertainment industry that touches each and every voter. The AFA is proud to stand beside a united industry seeking courageous leadership on Australia's cultural identity.”
Julia Robinson, Australian Festival Association (AFA)

“Australian content, whether its live, on platforms or broadcast to audiences around the country, is the best and easiest way to support great Australian music. We know that audiences love it and it helps support the sustainability of our sector. Not only that, the value of music, whether it’s for mental health or inspiring young people at schools is a return on investment, culturally, socially and economically.”
Simone Schinkel, Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN)

“On behalf of live music workers and the many, varied businesses that employ them, CrewCare wholeheartedly support these recommendations in the knowledge they will help our industry return to the upward trajectory we enjoyed pre-Covid which will in turn continue to feed into other industries, such as tourism, hospitality and aviation.”
Tony Moran, CrewCare

“Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all music workers is critical if the industry is to build back better and achieve its true potential at home and internationally. The creation of mentally healthy workplaces through the development and implementation of industry specific prevention, education and training programs that drive productivity, boost creativity, and keep people connected to their work and colleagues will help ensure future success and sustainability.”
Clive Miller, SupportAct

“Since 2020 AIR has been running the Commonwealth funded women in music mentor program nationwide and has delivered a comprehensive professional development program to help educate, empower and propel career progression. We have been overwhelmed by positive feedback from mentees and mentors attesting to its success. Mentoring is an invaluable tool that increases self-confidence and one’s ability to problem solve which is vital in order to navigate the many challenges practitioners face in this industry. The value of expanding this program to cover the entire music industry ecosystem will ensure Australia has the skills to build a sustainable and globally facing future for the industry.”
Maria Amato, Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR)

“The Australian music industry and the many people who make up our sector make a substantial contribution to the cultural and economic life of the country. But there are challenges we face, particularly following the significant impacts from the Covid pandemic. So our industry has come together to align on these priorities that we believe are worthy of investment and support, and we look forward to building on what these priorities can provide to better assist our sector and the cultural and economic development of the country.”
John Wardle, Live Music Office (LMO)

AMPAL supports these recommendations for the Federal Government and Federal Opposition to partner with the Australian music industry including music publishers, and to champion the great talent of Australian songwriters domestically and abroad. A robust intellectual property framework is integral to the ongoing success of the industry and to foster innovation.
Matthew O'Sullivan, Australasian Music Publishers' Association (AMPAL)