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News November 30, 2018

Labor promises $28M for Australian music projects

Labor promises $28M for Australian music projects

For the first time ever, local music has been made a priority for the Australian Government. Announced today, Bill Shorten’s Labor Government has promised the most comprehensive music policy of any Australian Government.

Promising to commit to a $30 million investment in new Australian music, with over $28 million over three years in new spending, Labor’s music policy will make critical reforms in these key areas:

  • Live music
  • Music exports
  • Youth music programs and music hubs in communities
  • Ticket scalping
  • Mental health programs that help artists and crew

The Labor Government Music Policy, Soundtrack Australia, includes:

$10M for Sounds Australia

Increasing funding for this work will mean Australian artists are being exported overseas and introduced to established markets like the US and EU but also emerging markets for Australian music like South America and Asia.

The work of the Live Music Office will continue in the new Sounds Australia.

New recordings

Labor will double the New Recordings Program which is run through the Australia Council. The program currently allocates $100,000 per year to record ten albums and it has helped artists such as Courtney Barnett and Alex the Astronaut gain an audience.

Music Hubs

Labor will provide at least $5 million to community centres, schools or local government to refurbish existing spaces to be sound proof music hubs.

Youth Music

Labor has set aside $7.6 million for youth music. A part of this is APRA’s SongMakers program, which will provide funding to boost the number of teachers in the community hubs as well as helping in schools.

Mental health

Labor Government will provide $4.2 million for two charities working in music and mental health: Nordoff Robbins and Support Act.

Nordoff Robbins delivers thousands of music therapy sessions per year in (aged) care homes, community settings, hospitals, (special needs) schools, disability organisations and their own centres and have widespread community support; Support Act supports artists, support staff and crew.

Additional funding would be allocated for Support Act to deliver a comprehensive mental health programs for people throughout the music industry.

“Labor’s music policy all comes back to one single objective: we want to inspire the next generation of Australian artists and to see more international success stories,” Labor Leader Bill Shorten.


Labor will consult on any changes to copyright reform, guided by a strong view that artists own what they create, and effective copyright laws must ensure artists are properly paid for the work they do.


Labor will impose a nationwide ban on the use of automated bots to buy tickets, along with a price limit on tickets that are sold in the resale market. Scalpers and websites like ViaGoGo will be subject to a reformed Australian Consumer Law.

Music Managers

Funding of $250,000 will be made available for the Association of Artists Managers to train new and emerging managers.

New Recordings

Labor will provide $100,000 per year of funding to double the support for new and diverse recordings by Australian artists. Enhancing and expanding the existing grants program of the PPCA and the Australia Council will help local artists manage the costs associated with recording their music.

ARIA music teacher award

Labor will provide funding of $600,000 to expand the music teacher ARIA award to four categories – primary; secondary; community; and remote music teachers.

Australian Investment Guarantee

Labor promises an immediate 20% deduction of the value of an asset worth more than $20,000 in the first year, venues, cafes, pubs, clubs, universities, concert halls and stadiums will benefit from this.


Labor will restore $83.7 million to the public broadcaster over three years.

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants program

Labor has announced it will provide an additional $4 million to expand the existing program. This will be available for musicians and artists.

labor government music policy outline

Labor’s more than $30M investment in Australian music will be announced in a Shorten Labor Government’s first budget.

As Labor outlined in its announcement of the music policy today, the local industry contributes nearly $6 billion to the Australian economy each year, with live music alone supporting around 64,000 jobs. According to ARIA, the industry will be worth $100 billion globally within a decade.

APRA AMCOS has welcomed the announcement. Dean Ormston, Chief Executive APRA AMCOS, said:

“APRA AMCOS has long argued that with the depth of talent across the country, and the unquenchable international appetite for Australian music, Australia has the potential to go from a music nation to a music powerhouse.

“This announcement from Federal Labor provides for the first time a whole-of-government policy approach to the music industry. It recognises the capacity of our local industry to not only create the anthems of the nation, but to drive employment, live music, tourism, youth engagement and educational benefits for all Australians across the towns, cities and centres of the country.

“The potential of these initiatives will allow for the creation of a new music industry body that will partner with government to drive music exports, support creators and artist managers and foster the creation of live music.Significantly, the policy identifies the enormous potential of Australian music exports as we enter the second digital revolution and music is used by leading nations to project their image to the world.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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