Music Australia has been unsuccessful in its application to the Australia Council for the Arts for four year operational funding from 2017. This investment of $208,000 pa to date, underwrites Music Australia’s peak body work as a national music service organisation providing information, development, and advocacy services across the whole artform.
Music Australia Chair Michael Smellie commented:
“We have been grateful the Australia Council has consistently invested in us for many years, and are proud of the contributions we have made.
“We recognise nothing is forever and welcome renewal, however we firmly believe that placing policy, industry development and advocacy front and centre is vital if we are to grow a vibrant and sustainable arts sector.
“It is ironic that this comes at a time when the Government appears, at last, to have recognised that innovation will underpin Australia’s future. A sustainable music sector is at the very heart of this innovation.”
Music Australia CEO Chris Bowen noted:
“It is clear the budget decision made a year ago by the then Federal Arts Minister is a key factor in the results announced today. This will see over 20 music and performing arts companies defunded. This will reduce our creative output, jobs, and opportunities for Australian audiences.
“More Australians attend live music than sport, and the live music industry alone employs some 65,000 people. It is vital that we focus our energies on developing and growing the sector. That has been Music Australia’s mission since day one.
“That is a sign of an innovative nation, one that boosts, not cuts its creative sector.
“It is disappointing that this decision comes when the organisation is enjoying substantial uptake in services and engagement following a significant transformation. Over 650,000 Australians accessed Music Australia programs in all states and territories in 2015.”
The Board has determined to continue with the current industry and policy development strategy and services, and is consulting with members and examining a new funding model to facilitate this provision.
Music Australia’s successful school music program, Music: Count Us In which is separately funded, is unaffected by this decision and will continue in 2017 and 2018.
- Music Australia highlights can be accessed here.
- A statistical snapshot of the contemporary music sector can be accessed here.
Media comment: Chris Bowen, CEO: 0409 326 403