Australia’s Labor Party Pledges $22 Million to Boost Local Music — If They’re Elected

Courtney Barnett
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Courtney Barnett
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Courtney Barnett

Australia’s Labor Party says it has plans to invest around AUS $30 million ($22 million USD) in the country’s music business if elected.

The Labor Party says that it has been speaking with Australian musicians, promoters, managers, and music fans ahead of their announcement.

The report on the Labor’s policy over the next three years has been backed by artists like Jimmy Barnes and Birds of Tokyo.  The new policy comes two weeks after a New South Wales parliamentary committee found that the live music industry in NSW is dying.  The report recommended the investment of at least $35 million over four years.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says he wants to see more Australian stars on the global stage.  “We want to inspire the next generation of Australian artists and to see more international success stories,” Shorten stated.

Labor has offered $28 million towards new music programs over the next three years including education, live music, and ticket scalping prevention.

The funding will also double a program focused on recordings, and will allow 20 new Australian artists to record an EP.

Courtney Barnett and Alex the Astronaut both benefitted from the program, which led to its potential expansion under Labor. Barnett in particular has done well on the world stage.  She was the first female solo artist to win best rock album at the ARIA awards.

Part of the report also mentions cracking down on ticket scalping websites.  In particular, the report proposes banning bot software that allows professional scalpers to purchase tickets.  Ticketmaster was caught in a bit of a snafu earlier this year when a subsidiary representative was caught promoting these services to potential scalpers.

Labor also says that $10 million will be committed to Sounds Australia, which will help with the live music scene.

Another $7 million will go towards music education for the expansion of programs like SongMakers and Song Room. $4.2 million is devoted to mental health and music. $300,000 of the proposed plan would be set aside for various new recordings, $750,000 for music manager support, and $600,000 for a Music Teacher Award.

You can see the full proposal here.