News September 26, 2018

Victoria provides $500k of grants for contemporary music, also promises $22m to protect child talent

Victoria provides $500k of grants for contemporary music, also promises $22m to protect child talent

During the unveiling of Ian “Molly” Meldrum’s statue and a new music mural in a Melbourne park, state minister for creative industries announced that the Labor government was delivering more than $500,000 for local artists, events and music businesses through the latest round of Grants.

The 25 latest Music Works grants back a diverse range of music professionals, organisations, businesses and events – from artists such as Alice Ivy, Dave Arden and Sui Zhen to music business Melbourne Electric Sound Studio (MESS) and industry development initiatives like all-ages songwriter program, Push Songs.

“Music is a big part of who we are as Victorians and is a hefty contributor to our vibrant culture and our state’s $22 billion creative economies,” Minister Foley said.

Yesterday also came two more announcements.

The first was that Victoria is set to host the 2019 Helpmann Awards for the first time, having secured the rights to bring the Awards from Sydney to Melbourne.

Secondly, $22 million is included into the Victorian budget 2018/9 to establish Wage Inspectorate Victoria, which will have more resources to manage the increased demand for child employment permits and enforce child employment laws.

The Child Employment Act requires employers seeking to hire children under 15 years old to apply for a permit from Wage Inspectorate Victoria.

The permit system is designed to protect children, ensuring they are safe, not working longer hours than they can physically or mentally handle, and that they keep up with their schooling.

Minister for industry and employment Ben Carroll made the announcement at Jonathan Coleman’s School of Dance to meet the cast of School of Rock.

Their production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical opens at Her Majesty’s Theatre next month.

It features 36 aged 9—13, of which 31 are from Victoria.

Children from Victoria have performed in hit shows including Matilda, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, The Sound of Music and Dream Lover – The Bobby Darrin Story.

According to the government, steady growth in Victoria’s entertainment industry – including film, television, commercials and musical theatre – has seen a 20% increase in child employment applications.

In 2017/18, over 11,000 child employment permits were issued, up from 10,000 in 2016/17 – of which 17% were for children working in live performance.

Minister Carroll said, “We’re giving Victoria’s best and brightest young performers the chance to shine on the big stage – and thanks to the Labor Government, parents can have confidence that they’ll be looked after and protected.

“With more and more productions using children in their ensembles – it’s important we have strong laws in place to protect them.”

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