The Brag Media
News June 2, 2022

Australia’s Music Industry Welcomes Incoming Arts Minister

Senior Journalist, B2B
Australia’s Music Industry Welcomes Incoming Arts Minister

It’s official: Tony Burke is Australia’s minister of the arts, an appointment that’s seen as the best-case scenario for the music industry.

When prime minister elect Anthony Albanese announced his cabinet on Tuesday (March 31), he made history, and almost certainly made the creative industries happy.

Albanese’s new-look government sets a record for women’s representation (10) and includes the first Muslim ministers.

Outgoing minister Paul Fletcher’s responsibilities have been divvied up, with Burke taking over the arts portfolio, and Michelle Rowland handed the communications portfolio.

ARIA and PPCA congratulated Burke, and welcomed his commitment to quickly developing a national cultural policy that “recognises the true social, cultural and economic value of music,” reads a statement from the industry bodies.

Burke has positioned himself as the music industry’s champion, and he’s a regular at music industry events. He attended Bluesfest this year, was among guests at the APRA Music Awards in Melbourne, and presented a category at the Australian Women in Music Awards in Brisbane.

To prove his value as an ally, Burke, as a shadow minister, spoke at an APRA AMCOS breakfast during Bigsound in 2018, covering a range of topics from copyright and the format shift to streaming, and doing so without notes.

Burke “has an obvious passion for local music and understands the opportunities and challenges that the industry faces,” reads the joint statement from ARIA and PPCA.

“For too long our industry has been lobbying for measurable and considered support taking into account the disruption over the last years; we look forward to working with the minister on a roadmap to real recovery and growth.”

APRA AMCOS also welcomed Burke, who was sworn-in Wednesday (June 1).

“We look forward to working with you and the Albanese Government on a plan to develop the next chapter of success for the great Australian music industry,” reads a social message from the PRO.

The industry’s three-point plan, presented ahead of the May 21 federal election, focuses on direct investment in the creation of great new Australian music, skills development and global exports, incentivising the use of local content on streaming and broadcast platforms, insurance to provide certainty for local audiences and programs to build industry sustainability through strong intellectual property and national mentorship programs.

ARIA and PPCA also welcome Mark Dreyfus’ appointment as Attorney-General, a position with responsibility for copyright; and new communications minister Michelle Rowland, who the industry anticipates will find “sustainable ways to feature and promote more local music across our broadcast platforms, particularly on radio.”

Earlier in the week, Ford Ennals, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), welcomed Rowland as “an excellent appointment” who “has deep media expertise and the radio industry welcomes her stated commitment to bringing Australia’s media laws into the digital age.”

The welcome mat was also rolled out from British rock ‘n’ roll royalty.

In a social post, Billy Bragg paid tribute to “old mate Albo” and the joy a fresh start brings.

“The people have given him a mandate for change – to create a new Australia committed to acting collectively in the common good,” Bragg writes. “I know Albo is the right person for the job. He has a socialism of the heart.”


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