News February 15, 2019

Labor NSW promises $35m spend on music and unveils new strategies: “An end to the war on music”

Labor NSW promises $35m spend on music and unveils new strategies: “An end to the war on music”

will increase funding on contemporary music to $35 million in their first term if it gains power at next month’s state elections.

NSW Labor leader will launch its official music policy this afternoon in Sydney.

He said, “NSW has lost hundreds of venues and thousands of jobs since the NSW Liberals and Nationals were elected in 2011.

“Now due to (their) actions, we are losing music festivals as well.

“Labor will put an end to the war on music.”

Plans unveiled by Daley and shadow minister for music and the night time economy include:

* Establishing a ‘Music Community’ designation for communities that have a strong music sector and value music –  and work with local councils to support and promote these communities.

* Direct support for artists to record and tour, including internationally through a new $1.3 million ‘Music Passport’ program; and regionally and nationally through a new $5.1 million “band-aid” program

* Investing $4 million in supporting music festivals across NSW, including $700,000 to the Sydney Fringe.

* Streamlining the licensing process for music festivals and allow organisers with an established record to obtain multi-year approvals for festivals.

* Rebuilding the suburban and regional touring circuit in NSW, with $1.3 million to support an ‘On the Road Again’ program to take music industry promoters and booking agents on tour to regional venues and provide a substantial funding boost to the ‘Live and Local’ program.

* Creating a home for the music sector in Sydney. It will include performance and rehearsal spaces, recording and writing studios, youth programming and community radio, with a contribution of up to $10 million.

*Setting up a new youth music organisation which will work with Music NSW.

John Graham pointed out,  “Labor wants to keep venues open, and keep musicians in work. We want festivals moving to NSW, not fleeing the jurisdiction.”

“The measures that we announce today will help the NSW music scene reach its potential.”

Labor earlier promised to release a Contemporary Music Plan within 100 days of getting elected, remove the liquor licence conditions affecting entertainment and create the positions for a minister for music and a nighttime commissioner to drive this change.

The first reaction from the music industry to today’s announcement comes from APRA AMCOS.

Its CEO Dean Ormston said,  “By including not just a substantial investment to help enable to careers of songwriters and musicians through live music, export, industry development and infrastructure investment, it tackles the regulatory nightmare our industry has faced for over a decade.

“NSW is the largest contributor to the Australian live music industry alone and is worth $3.6 billion and 23,207 jobs to the economy.

“Together with the recorded music industry and the broader impact the sector has on tourism, the night time economy, exports, regional development and education, we are the most significant cultural industry in the state.”

Ormston pointed out that at last year’s parliamentary inquiry into the NSW music economy, APRA AMCOS had emphasised that an across-the-board government support was needed to help reach the sector’s potential.

“Meanwhile we are in ongoing consultation with the Liberal government, including on matters relating to live music regulation,” he said.

“We will continue to lobby for a substantive policy that supports the needs of the industry, and in particular the findings of the parliamentary inquiry, before the March 23 election.”

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