News March 13, 2017

WA Labor landslide to ignite state’s music industry

Christie Eliezer
Contributing Editor
WA Labor landslide to ignite state’s music industry

Image: WA’s new Premier Mark McGowan

The weekend’s landslide win by Labor in Western Australia might have had party leader Mark McGowan coined the “Premier of Dullsville” by rivals.

But it marks a new era for the state’s music industry which contributes almost $1 billion to the WA economy economically, socially and culturally, and creates almost 3,000 full time jobs.

Of all the parties, Labor’s election promises had a vision of building upon WA music’s international success, as well as scouring the state for new talent in its regional areas.

Among its promises were to:

  • Set up a $3 million Creative Mind Fund to support the local music industry. Part of this would be to create links with the business in the rest of Australia and around the world.
  • Introduce new strategy including grants for local emerging artists.
  • Introduce Planning reforms to protect existing live music venues, assist with development of new venues.
  • Task the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to develop and manage additional live music venues, identifying government buildings which could be used as creative hubs and introduce a State Planning Policy on live performance to streamline the approvals process for live performance venues.
  • Investigate ‘agent of change’ principles similar to those iin Victoria, where the responsibility of noise mitigation will fall to a new development and not existing venues and residents.
  • Introduce a requirement that all sale documents for new developments in an existing entertainment precinct must inform buyers if they are moving near an entertainment precinct.
  • Amend the Liquor Control Act to add a new public interest assessment category which allows for a venue’s tourism, community and cultural benefits to be considered in licence applications “as part of their commitment to do more to encourage an arts friendly hospitality culture.”
  • Invest $20,000 in the development of the music industry in regional communities.
  • Allocate $25,000 to Western Australian Music (WAM) for a Goldfields Touring Circuit. The funding will be used by WAM for a pilot touring circuit in four centres across the Goldfields, including Kalgoorlie. It will allow musicians studio-recording time to create quality ‘demo’ tracks for broadcast on community radio.

At the launch of Labor WA’s music policy, Mark McGowan said: “The WA music industry is a strong contributor to our economy, every week, thousands of Western Australians visit music venues to watch WA bands, pumping millions into our economy.

“We need to take advantage of WA’s vibrant music scene and use it to create more jobs for Western Australians,” he added.

Also in attendance at the launch, WAM CEO Mike Harris commented, “WAM welcomes any additional investment in music that will provide stimulation and opportunities for the WA music industry.

“Music delivers significant economic, social and cultural enrichment to the lives of Western Australians, but that doesn’t happen without giving artists the ability to create and play their music. Investment in programs that support artists and the broader music sector are imperative as we want WA’s music scene to flourish.”

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