Inside Labor’s multi-million dollar arts package: “An important framework for our industry”
Federal Labor announced its arts and culture policy on Saturday to strong acclaim.
Titled Renewing Creative Australia, it’s a strong well-balanced package that touches on many aspects, and which shows that Labor has been listening carefully to the music, tech and well-being sectors to compile its vision.
The Music Network applauds the policy as it puts the emphasis on musicians and artists, their importance in creating the magic and stories, and the issues that plague them, including skills developing, finances and mental well-being.
Responding to the policy announcement, APRA AMCOS chief executive Dean Ormston has welcomed Labor’s commitments.
“Policy certainty is critical for the entire cultural sector, and the announcement today provides an important framework for our industry,” he said.
‘The support for Australian contemporary music in this arts policy, in addition to the previously released Soundtrack Australia policy, will provide vital investment for artists at all stages of their career.
“The commitment to boost funding for the Australia Council as well as announcements to support live music venues, indigenous music and women in music programs is to be applauded.”
Live Performance Australia chief executive Evelyn Richardson has also embraced Labor’s cultural policy, calling it a “comprehensive set of initiatives and funding commitments”.
“After years of disruptions to funding and a disjointed policy approach to the cultural sector, it is heartening to see one of our major parties spelling out a strong commitment to supporting and growing our cultural sector through a comprehensive and funded policy approach,” says Richardson.
$20 million for an Australian Music Live Music Fund to support live music venues, hotels, restaurants, cafes, festivals, precinct events and musicians for the presentation of Australian music through a new grants stimulus program.
The new Sounds Australia will receive over $10 million in support for music exports and live music.
A new recordings program $100,000 per year of funding.
$2.1 million to the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) to provide mentoring programs for female musicians and key industry roles.
WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL
$3.5 million for stage 3 of the Woodford Festival’s plan to transform the facility to be used all year round, allowing arts and music to flourish.
$1 million over five years to Nordoff Robbins to continue their good work providing music therapy sessions in aged care homes, community settings, hospitals, special needs schools, disability organisations, and their own centres.
FIRST NATIONS MUSIC
In addition to Soundtrack Australia designed to promote all kinds of Australian music both domestically and around the world, $2.7 million will be provided to establish a new grants program for Indigenous musicians. These grants will help artists get started or move along their career path.
$5 million over five years to Support Act and ongoing funding of $200,000 to deliver a comprehensive mental health program for people throughout the music industry.
Restore funding to the Australia Council, initially with a fresh $37.5 million, and maintaining this funding increase – totalling a commitment of over $112 million.
An additional $2 million will also be provided to extend the contemporary music touring program to support national touring by Australian musicians.
Strengthen law to protect online creators and consumers rights. Labor says, “Creators should be the ones who own what they create and have control of how it is used.”
Crackdown on fraudulent ticket scalping sites consumers paying exorbitant prices for tickets on the secondary market will no longer be allowed to continue.
In its first term, Labor vows to legislate a resale price cap of 110%, banning ticket-buying bots, and directing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to review these measures to ensure the reforms are having their intended effect.
ARTISTS, ARTS WORKERS, WITH DISABILITIES
More opportunities for artists and arts workers with a disability to create and show work, and find employment in the arts.
This is through revitalising the national arts and disability strategy, embedding access is embedded in its arts policy and programs, increased funding to the Australia Council and foster new partnerships between small-to-medium and independent organisations that develop shared approaches to boost arts presentation and employment for people with disability.
$3.5 million towards multicultural arts and festivals as well as ensure our cultural policy reflects and celebrates modern multicultural Australia.
An additional $1 million a year of regional arts funding to support ongoing artistic initiatives, invest in professional development opportunities, and increase employment for regional and remote artists.
The funding will have a particular focus on artistic skills development among First Nations’ communities, young people and people in very remote areas.
Labor has also committed to providing $5 million to refurbish Her Majesty’s Theatre in Ballarat, Victoria.
Music education is a feature of Labor’s policy with $6 million being allocated to Music Hubs in the community to support young people play and learn music, $7.6 million for youth music programs and $2.5 million to support music industry skills development and mentoring opportunities for young people in regions with high youth unemployment.
Funding will also be provided for teachers and mentors from the Songmakers program to work with young musicians at Labor’s Community Music Hubs.
Cuts to training institutions will be restored with an additional $2.3 million to various arts training institutions including the Australian National Academy of Music.
Ensure creative and music workplaces are safe and free from harassment.