As the deadline for the Australian government’s National Cultural Policy looms, the music industry has contacted prime minister Anthony Albanese to ensure it has “immediate and appropriate investment”.
Industry leaders say it is needed “to transform and safeguard a diverse, vibrant and sustainable arts, entertainment and cultural sector now and into the future.”
Arts minister Tony Burke earlier said the all-important policy – which included input from all sectors – would be released before the end of the year.
A number of associations representing the music sector were among 20 who signed the letter to the prime minister.
They were APRA AMCOS, ARIA, Australian Festival Association, Australian Music Centre, Live Performance Australia and the PPCA.
They joined other groups representing the screen, dance, First Nations, artists with disabilities, literature, museums, galleries, regional performers and sectors of the visual arts.
The letter stated, as per ArtsHub, “We welcome the recent budgetary measures for education, health, women’s safety, anti-racism and disaster relief.
“We believe that the arts, entertainment and cultural industry can play a significant role in helping to deliver long term gain in these critical pressure areas for all Australians through a whole of government lens, in partnership with the public, private, philanthropic and non-government sectors.”
The letter stressed, “A forward-looking, ambitious National Cultural Policy that provides a framework for jump-starting the arts will give Australians a real sense of belief in a future that is joyful and meaningful.”
ARIA previously spelled out that the federal government’s investment should include a dedicated contemporary music agency within government, a national First Nations music agency, strategies to grow music export and a strong intellectual property framework.
In its submission to the national cultural policy, ARIA stressed, “Australian music is a powerhouse within the creative industries with enormous potential for growth.”
It said its growth of 4.4% in 2021 was strong compared to most sectors in the Australian entertainment industry but the lowest of all markets globally.
“The business of music now extends from legacy music catalogues and IP ownership to gaming and tech industries, the booming wellness and fitness industry, and everything in between.
“It provides an integral soundtrack to television, film and advertising. It drives tourism, the night time economy and associated retail and hospitality spend.”
Live Performance Australia expects the National Cultural Policy to have “clear strategic priorities and investment to rebuild the industry.”
These include priority for First Nations culture and support to rebuild skills, and to underwrite and attract investment will “enable us to create jobs, create new work, get more shows on stage, our touring networks re-established” and broaden audiences globally.
Other sectors have pushed for artists to be recognised as professionals through Centrelink, and a legislative framework to ensure they are protected from being financially exploited.
It is expected that the National Cultural Policy will have Australian content quotas for streaming services, and that 20% of these services’ profits go back to investing in the sectors.
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