A Parliamentary Friends of Australian Music group has been formed in Canberra. Launched at a Parliament House function on 15 March, the group will “recognise the economic and cultural significance of the Australian music industry and raise awareness to the Parliament of its importance.”
The event was organised by Co-convenors Townsville MP Ewan Jones (Lib) and NSW’s Julie Owens (ALP). In his remarks ABC Reported Ewan Jones as saying the “Australian music industry could be lucrative for some, with the top 2 per cent of musicians earning more than $200,000 a year. But he said 78 per cent of artists made less than $10,000 a year. ‘We have to do better than that. You won’t find a more creative, a more innovative industry than music. This is perfect for our agenda,’ he said.”
The event, attended by over 100 MPs, Senators and staffers, along with music industry insiders including Music Australia, were entertained by artists Josh Pyke, Suze DeMarchi, Paul Dempsey, Benny Walker, Gordi, and Jimmy Barnes.
After the event Jimmy Barnes, who performed a short acoustic set, was typically straight forward in his remarks: “Musicians struggle for most of their careers … There needs to be more funding around the arts, for music, for rock music. I’ve seen a lot of great musicians, a lot of great songwriters, come and starve to death and disappear” He told the ABC.
Music Australia applauds this tremendous new initiative, which has been driven by APRA AMCOS and music industry partners.
APRA AMCOS said “The key message to Canberra is that the contemporary music industry is economically, socially and culturally significant.” You can read their media release here.