Categories: News

NSW Election Report Card – See Who Passes the ‘Music Industry Test’

Published by
Lars Brandle

The aroma of sizzling democracy sausages will fill the air across the state of New South Wales on Saturday (March 25), as locals play their part in the most critical — and unpredictable — election of recent memory.

When the votes are tallied, there’ll be one winner, and many losers.

The state’s music industry will hope that, with the appointment of the next government, its curse will finally be lifted.

Making a living from music in Sydney and across the state has been a drag in recent years, with legislative roadblocks and mother nature meting-out regular punishment, at the worst possible time.

From lockouts to lockdowns, bushfires to floods, and licensing laws that would kill off festivals, the music community in NSW has walked a strange path.

Vote Music, a non-partisan collection of music industry organisations and leaders, has a vested interest in the outcome of the election, and has kept a close eye on the words and deeds of the major parties and independents.

Vote Music recently launched a structured plan, developed through “extensive consultation with music workers and businesses across the state.”

Its policy paper carries three requests for the incoming administration: establish a Contemporary Music Office in government to drive music development; provide significant government investment in artists, and industry initiatives; and protect and build venues, festivals and spaces to make NSW a “proud home of contemporary music.”

To complete those tasks and more, Vote Music requested a $100 million commitment from all parties and candidates ahead of the election.

Who came through, and who didn’t?

Among the major parties, NSW Labor ticks the boxes.

“An elected Labor Government will move to ensure NSW music is the soundtrack to our state by asking government agencies to use NSW music where possible, feeding royalty money back to NSW artists and songwriters,” reads a statement issued on the eve of the election from John Graham, deputy Labor leader in the upper house shadow minister for music and the night time economy.

The policy, the message continues, “could see NSW music used in government advertising, as hold music, and in government buildings.”

The message to the music industry from NSW Liberals and Nationals… crickets.

A string of smaller parties and independents tick the music industry’s boxes, including The Greens NSW, Alex Greenwich (Sydney), Elizabeth Farrelly (Upper House), Helen Conway (North Shore), Jacqui Scruby (Pittwater), Joeline Hackman (Manly), Judy Hannan (Wollondilly), Karen Freyer (Vaucluse), Michael Regan (Wakehurst), Victoria Davidson (Lane Cove); Animal Justice Party; and Shooters, Fishers & Farmers.

Check out Vote Music’s report card here. And visit ABC for its election coverage.

Party Policies & Letters of Support *

NSW Labor
The Greens NSW
Alex Greenwich (Sydney)
Elizabeth Farrelly (Upper House)
Helen Conway (North Shore)
Jacqui Scruby (Pittwater)
Joeline Hackman (Manly)
Judy Hannan (Wollondilly)
Karen Freyer (Vaucluse)
Michael Regan (Wakehurst)
Victoria Davidson (Lane Cove)
Shooters, Fishers & Farmers

(*collected and published by Vote Music)

Lars Brandle

Lars Brandle has reported at the frontline of the international music industry for over 20 years. A former musician, Lars joined the American music trade “bible” Billboard in 2000 and went on to serve as Global News Editor, based in London. Now Billboard’s Australia correspondent and senior writer with The Brag Media, Lars has appeared on CNN, the BBC and ABC, American Public Media and South Africa's EastCoast Radio, and he has spoken at Midem in Cannes, Music Matters in Singapore, Amsterdam Dance Event, London's City Showcase and at industry gatherings on both sides of the Tasman. His works have been published by Reuters, Media Week, Spin, and The Hollywood Reporter, and he has featured as a pundit in the Australian Financial Review, Business Review Weekly and Britain’s The Independent.

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