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Transcript: Making Music a Potent Political Force – Roundtable panel session August 2016

Advocacy Resources

August 30, 2016

The session was moderated by Joe Hay, arts industry consultant, opening speaker was Michael Smellie, Chair of Music Australia. Panellists: Van Badham, writer, commentator, arts critic; Julie Owens MP, Federal Member for Parramatta; and Dean Ormston, Head of member Services Group APRA AMCOS.

You can read edited highlights here and full transcript below.

The need for a strategic agenda

Michael Smellie opened this session with an address urging the industry to honestly face its challenges, to build a compelling case by assembling credible evidence; to reposition the industry’s policy positioning from arts based subsidy to creative industries delivering growth; and to move from a transactional to a long term strategic focus.

He proposed five steps for improving music’s situation nationally:

  • Admit there is a problem and that there is a need for some change
  • Collect, information and publish a credible, factual annual report
  • Look to learn from and emulate world’s “best practice”
  • Shift the narrative from Arts to Creative Industries
  • Establish ambitious and strategic goals.

Read Michael Smellie’s full address here.

Transcript of Panel Session

JOE: Introduced himself and the panel. As I’ve said, reality check, music is considered a low art and not a real industry. It is split and we are facing a federal government that talks about innovation and says it’s their main priority, but has cut all the levers it has to actually deliver innovation. So how do we influence the federal government? Julie can you start by telling us what the parliamentary friends of music is and how that might actually help unlock that? We do have some allies.

JULIE: Friendship groups of the parliament, bi-partisan groups co-chaired by one person from each side of politics, my co-chair was Ewan Jones who just lost by 37 votes. But every parliament you have to re-convene anyway so we will have to find another co-chair and start that group again once a new parliament convenes in September. Friendship groups work in different ways.

The ones I have been involved with, my view is that the role is to create links between people in the industry and people in the parliament. So that when you have an issue you need to raise with someone in the parliament, you can make the phone call and get in very quickly because they know who you are.

So for me it is all about relationship building. In the last parliament we had two events, the first one was just to launch, and the second one was essentially a free concert – don’t do that, don’t come down to Canberra and play for free ever again! I have been in the music business a long time myself and don’t play for free, particularly when you have a crowd as well paid as members of parliament.

But the purpose of coming down again is to make the link. So usually we would do events around particular things – access to Australian markets, trade, copyright issues, the changing nature of the sector. Usually we would have forums about particular issues where you would have experts coming down and speaking to members or parliament and during that time we would organise private meetings between key people and members of parliament so that those links are made and they can exist after the event.

It is all about relationships in government, there is no single path. If you are going to write a book on influencing public policy you would have a chapter on people’s wives – who went to a concert last night and said “you really should give more money to music”. You would have a chapter on government departments, you would have a chapter on members of parliament, and you would have a chapter on their staff. There is no single pathway to get a decision made, you need as many links as you can possibly get and that’s what the friendship groups are about.

JOE: In regards to the processes in place, in South Australia the premier actually had a policy change unit whose job was to basically take policy and integrate is across all departments and actually build ownership around that. Does the federal government currently have that sort of cross-policy system?

JULIE: No it doesn’t and the music industry is in the same position as most other industries with the exception perhaps of mining, agriculture, the car industry because it is in crisis, education because it was in crisis, it is very difficult to find any narrative in virtually any other sector across the parliament, and if there was one on contemporary music I would have noticed it.

Again to talk about the complexity, it is not just small business innovation and communications, it is also trade industry, the attorney general because he deals with copyright and the arts as well. So you have many paths to follow. The only structural way you can turn that into a focus across policy areas is to get yourself a committee inquiry, either in Senate or across the two houses, which will focus specifically on creative industries across portfolios and take the evidence and put together strategic options for that sector. That is the only way to structurally create a cross-policy focus. There is no structural one.

JOE: So we would have to engineer that ourselves?

JULIE: It is one option. There are other industries that work quite well across the different sectors. It is one option. It is a hard one, but given that when the government talks about transition there is no sector that is transitioning to the extent that the intangible sector is. Intellectual property ways of doing things. The way we communicate with our audience and the development of the audience itself as the product. That is probably the biggest transition that is going on. So you would have very good grounds to ask for an enquiry that crossed portfolios areas that looked at that very significant transition.

JOE: The reason I got to play the role I did in South Australia was because my background was in campaigns and the Labour party for about 15 years before I went overseas and took I break. So when I got back I had a lot of friends within the system and within the public service which enabled me to basically swan through the different departments and ministerial offices and have polite conversations with people where it wasn’t a policy threat or a political threat. APRA and Music Australia have relationships with the federal parliament. Have you recently engaged the friends of music?

DEAN: The way it came about is interesting. We have a relationship with the Hotels Association on a licensee basis and we hooked up with them in November and there was a conversation around why there isn’t a Parliamentary Friends of Music? There was a parliamentary friends of fluffy cats and just about everything else you can think of, but there wasn’t one for music. It sounded like a great idea and we got in touch with Ewen Jones who is quite the character.

As Julie said we had a little soiree in Ewen’s office in November, and the conversation at that point came around “so what’s the point of having this group and what it can do”. Just picking up on Julie’s point “don’t play for free”, I couldn’t agree more, but the flipside of that is there are no free lunches. We came and we played and there was an expectation. The expectation was fulfilled to an extent because the frustration you are talking about Joe, which is we get siloed in the arts, yet our business is every bit trade, tourism, education, innovation, small business, health…I would argue music is across all of the portfolios. But with the current government we have had spectacular failure in getting into any of the other portfolios.

The event that we did in March earlier this year with the Parliamentary Friends of Music where we had Jimmy Barnes come down, was absolutely standing in the house in the Senate courtyard, kicking the door open a bit and saying “we are here, and we are an industry”. Julie you made a great point before which I think was a great point about whether people are fans or friends. Trust me, that night there were plenty of people running around all night and all they wanted was a photo with Jimmy Barnes. I saw a couple of MPs run across the lawn in high heels, nearly killing themselves, to get a photo with Jimmy Barnes. But there is a dividend from our point of view. Jimmy stood on stage and said “we’re a small business, it’s a family business, it’s tough, and he wouldn’t want to be a new artist coming through”. We got lots of media out of it. The next day we had an hour meeting with advisors from four portfolios across government, so I agree Julie, we don’t play for free, there are no free lunches.

We absolutely need to coordinate our ask, and work out what those steps are. For our section of the world we are trying to work out who are the right alliances. The hotel sector is a powerful lobby group. We are not always arm to arm and eye to eye with them, but there are areas which suit both our purposes to hook up and this might be one of them.

JOE: I’ll just go to Van. Parliamentary Friends of Music is a logical bill of friends. You have quite an engaged role within the federal political realm of politics across the country; do you see any light in there? Is there any love from this current government?

VAN: No. There is no love from this current government. They hate us; they hate what we do and therefore have written us off as lost votes. I say that as somebody who is very heavily involved in the Free The Arts campaign against George Brandis and Mitch Fifield around the unprecedented cuts to the Australia Council and their portioning of money to their own personal discretionary arts funds. The fact that you get a music label like Melba getting disproportionate millions based on their output and product because they have managed to placate the conservative tendencies of a conservative political party.

I like being on these panels because I am not a politician so I can say what I know to be true. The reality of Australia is if you want progress vote Labour, if you want things to get worse vote for the Liberal party. That’s the reality. If we are looking at gains for the arts community, gains for community development, gains for cultural development, the reality is there are two paths you can go by. The other movement that would articulate this quite clearly is of course the federal government. We were at their discussion in Melbourne where Adam Bandt (who is a Green and the local member for Melbourne), Mark Dreyfus (Labour party arts spokesperson) and Mitch FiFeld (the current Minister for the Arts) debated arts policy and Mitch Fifeld didn’t say a word, didn’t make a single commitment, did not pledge to reverse any kind of coalition policy.

It was very clear in that kind of environment that because we as an arts community we are considered to be electorally un-franchisable to that party and that movement, they had absolutely no interest in what we had to say. I am involved in lots of different political causes, I am very heavily involved in the campaign for renewable energy and renewables investment and infrastructure, I do a lot of work with the cooperative movement, who have been trying to get legislative reform to make business cooperatives more realisable within the Australian economy and within the Australian legislature.

I have watched a lot of movements do politics really well and I have watched lots of movements do a lot of politics really badly. The Free The Arts Campaign is a really good example of what to get spectacularly wrong – this idea that a community that had never been associated with a conservative cause, let alone a potential swing vote community, it was really interesting to see people engage in the electoral process of thinking “we just have to talk about how great the arts are and then the votes will follow”.

Well, because of all the other movements I was working with, I had a list of the ten most popular electoral issues – health, education, economic management, job security, concerns about pensions. Climate change was way down the list, and the arts didn’t even register let alone the music industry or creative industry policy in the top ten. If you are organising an electoral movement, you can either spend years investing in building the soft power of your community to influence long term policy change. That is a grass roots engagement at a community level, at building alliances in the community, running advocacy and awareness campaigns. That’s your long game. Your short game is actually looking at where your enemy is weak and playing them off an electoral break on the issues that can break them.

The arts community should never have gone into an election campaign going “be nice to the arts community because we do really great stuff”, the arts community should have dressed up like doctors and picketed hospitals saying “health cuts are killing us, the arts community are in support with Australians who want Medicare”, or “the arts community in support of job security”, “the arts community are mobilising marginal seats to support unemployed TAFE teachers and people who are concerned about their local school and concerned about deregulation of universities”. That is how you build political alliances, and that is how you protect yourselves and create long-term change. That is how you get people in the room, because you actually become an agent of political change and political threat.

If they don’t think you are going to vote for them, they don’t care about you. If they think you can influence how other people will vote for them, you will get that meeting. As a sector that prides itself on its autonomy and has an approach particularly to industry development in Australia, it’s interesting to hear “oh we don’t want to be considered as part of the arts, we are music.” Well I have the same discussions with people who are in the film industry or people who are in dance or people in theatre. If you funded theatre properly, theatre is a licence to make money if you are running Broadway or the West End, you can make money infinitely.

All of our arts practice is industrial, we employ people, we sell products, we raise money, we fund internal economies and we contribute to a broader economic reality as well. The first step is unity and the second step is industrial organisation. That actually enables us to build powerful political alliances and friendships with the kind of agents of change who can weaken our enemies and deliver our results. That is a broad overview, but certainly looking at who was able to get change and policy commitment over the course of the electoral period. We now have this situation where the coalition cannot change Medicare because such an issue was made of Medicare that they had to say it’s all a lie. Well they may have made the election, but if they make a single backtrack on their “oh well we were never planning to privatise it” – they are electoral toast, and that is how you play the electoral game.

JOE: Building on something you raised before Dean about the whole art vs industry approach, how hard will it be to get the music industry to speak as one voice? It is a very split industry.

DEAN: I don’t know that it is. I think we have all matured a lot, and we are nowhere near where Van is talking about, and it is very great picture you paint and does provide a whole direction in thinking. In the last two years we have had our own sneak previews and what we can do and how we head down that path.

In looking at the moves in relation to online infringement over the last 18 months, which for the last 10 years everyone has talked about piracy and how to disenfranchise everybody that you are trying to win over by referring to something as piracy. But in the end, the music industry, which ten years ago were split on what to do around that, came together and then hooked up with other creative partners in film, sport etc. to say this is an issue for all of us, it is all around content. So getting on the same page and then having one message not just to the relevant minister but to lots of ministers that says “this can be done without a threat to votes because we hear there are no votes to be won on this issue, it is very unsexy, no one cares, so we need to de-risk it completely and get something done”.

Cut a long story short, we ended up getting that passed through under Brandis, a new section of the copyright act supported by the Opposition which is great, which now allows a copyright owner to get an injunction for an ISP to disconnect from overseas infringing sites.

Another smaller example we had recently was when Sounds Australia found out it wasn’t getting funding through Catalyst. Now from day one, we said Catalyst is not the right format for funding for a service. And what Sounds Australia does is a wonderful service. So we have been talking to the department at length to say “this isn’t right for us.” The Department to an extent is hamstrung, that is what they have to offer.

We had not been able to get a meeting with Fifeld for love nor money. To cut a long story short, we engaged in a social media campaign which is not a place where we have been before. We are very conscience of our members and exposing our members but we did it in way that made people feel comfortable to speak up. We ended up with a petition of 6000 which isn’t a lot but there were lots of statements in that 6000 around why Sounds Australia was so important. We leveraged that to produce a survey that went out through mass media; we deliberately tried to connect outside of the music industry, looking to seed into the general population and especially in what we saw as swinging electorates.

The survey gave us a whole set of results that we were able to take out to media, 174 media outlets across the country; we did a video off the back of that with Jimmy Barnes, which gave us more leverage. The upshot of that is we finally got a meeting with Fifeld. We still don’t have a solution for our funding for Sounds Australia but it gave us a snapshot of how sophisticated you need to be and how planned you need to be in any sort of campaign and you need to be clear on what your goals are. We are so far at the embryonic stages of what you are talking about, but I think it makes a lot sense.

JOE: I know a lot of the work that Music Australia has been doing around the Roundtable and the Contemporary Music Plan is going part way to find a common voice for the industry. Michael did you want to talk about that at all.

MICHAEL: I don’t want to pre-empt what we might or might not discuss at lunch time but just to pick up one point – we have to stop being transactional. Dean just described a good outcome of something transactional. We have to be thinking of what are the objectives, what are we trying to achieve. By the way we have to be able to deal with multiple parties; we can’t put ourselves in the position where we can only deal with the left and not with the right, or arguing with the right and not with the left because in the long-term you are going to get both.

I think what we need to do is to switch our thinking less from being transactional and less “well we got to do something with Sounds Australia”, not to say we shouldn’t, that’s not the point. But there is no one here who can talk about what the goals are for Australian music for the next decade. How do you measure success? What does it look like? I listened yesterday to people who talked about their own success, but it was all what we did yesterday and what we might do, what our figures showed for this week and how many downloads we might have next year. There is nothing strategic in that at all. No objectives, it’s very transactional.

I think that is one of the key things from my perspective. That we as an industry to unite, we need to stop being transactional. We would be able to think longer term, work across all sorts, and have policies that are party neutral as much as possible. At least so we can discuss them in detail with both sides of politics.

DEAN: I couldn’t agree more, and the Sounds Australia example is transactional when you explain it as an example. The rhetoric with Fifeld and the opposition and the great conversations we had with Mark Dreyfus and Bill Shorten’s advisors around the election was around export. This is all about export. The example being Sounds Australia. “Here is what we achieved to date on the resources to date”. And we gave very clear objectives about what we wanted to achieve, what markets we wanted to get into and what our expectations will be over the short to longer term. So I completely agree. You have to be able to articulate the bigger picture. Put numbers on the table, and I think Shane Homan made good point yesterday which was “don’t lose the cultural card in all that”. But when I hear the federal arts crowd talk, I feel it’s too much the cultural card and not enough “here is the economic picture, here is the holistic piece and here are the jobs and growth and everyone needs to be behind the industry”.

VAN: Yeah exactly, but it is about understanding where that plays in term of a long term strategy. I do so much campaign consulting and the first question I always ask is “what do you actually want?” If you want recognition or awareness or you want hugs at music festivals or whatever, that is an easy campaign to run. If it is legislative change, if its resource allocation, that is a strategy and you work backwards and get through all of your steps. That is basic activism.

But a really good example of what I am talking about is the CFMEU. Militant, left-wing, hard-core union. Their members get paid a lot more than musicians do. A lot more than musicians do. They are a heavily unionised militant industrial force who exercises membership and power and political influence through industrial discipline effectively. Playing political neutrality actually disempowers you. What empowers you is to be disciplined as an electoral force. Willing to deploy power, deploy activism, deploy mobilisations in support of what you want to get. If you look at the CFMEU, the government desperately trying to break them and they can’t, they have lost the numbers to do that which is hilarious, it is because they have maintained their goals around workplace safely, and their goals around their rates of pay and you are looking at overwhelmingly an unskilled workforce. People walk onto building sites with a lot less qualifications than are required to become a musician. But the electoral game is played really brutally and really competitively and you have to fight for what you want.

Achieving neutrality is not politically useful. What is politically useful is threat and I don’t mean threat as in something nasty. I mean threat of social influence and social power. The amazing resource that the music community has and the industrial unions and organisations don’t have is brand power. There is a reason why everyone is running across the lawn to the get their photo taken with Jimmy Barnes. Because Jimmy Barnes gives you cultural power and influence. Someone recognisable and transactionable. Who can portray some low level backbencher from a seat that no one has been heard of as a person with cultural currency because they are hanging out with Jimmy Barnes. That is a very weapon to deploy in any kind of political campaign. And it’s not a question of being nice to people, it’s about threatening to withhold that brand power, or deploy it, based in the service of what you are trying to achieve.

JULIE: There would be a number of campaigns in the last election that you would not have noticed. Every single pathology or imaging centre had a petition. Every single patient that went in was told about a problem and signed it. There were a number of campaigns that ran that way and in terms of Jimmy Barnes doing something for free, I would be more afraid if Jimmy Barnes turned up to one of my polling booths and handed out for free against me. (Laughs). But honestly, that is how the fire brigade wins. If the firemen turn up at polling booths in their uniform and hand out against you, you are gone, and everyone knows. There are organisations out there in other sectors where the minute something happens, a member of parliament like me will get 300 or 400 emails from within my electorate within 24 hours because something happens that that sector doesn’t like. So there are a lot of people out there with significantly smaller relationships with people that use them very effectively to scare the bejesus out of us.

VAN: I mean what is Jimmy Barnes’ Twitter following? What is the Twitter following of Katie Noonan who has been at this conference? I have regular column in The Guardian and I am an engaged media player. She has twice as many followers as I do. The ability to mobilise opinion around messaging and around political action is the great unused weapon of the cultural communities in this country. And deploying it is massively successful. If you compare the campaign of Donald Trump to the campaign of Hilary Clinton, there is a very different message that is communicated by those two candidates, by the fact that when Clinton appears at the Democratic National Convention, she is surrounded by celebrities lending their brand power, their emotional authenticity, their success, and their allure reflects on her. Like Chuck Norris is never going to put a shine on Donald Trump. You know what I am saying. (audience laughs).

JOE: It is interesting you mentioned Katie Noonan. We were chatting yesterday that we are an industry of storytellers and developing narratives and convincing people should be easy for us. I am really looking forward to see where we go from this.

As far as engaging the parliamentary system Julie, who does it really well and how do they get that balance between what Michael is saying and what Van is saying about being able to speak to both sides? Because it is a skill, and organisations are able to do it. Who does it really well in your opinion?

JULIE: I would say at the moment that a group who is doing it quite well is the small scale motor vehicle repairers who have an imbalance of power between the really big companies and the really small companies – what a surprise. The big companies for example don’t release the technical specifications to repair a motor vehicle, which means if you get your Toyota repaired at a little repairer down the road, he/she won’t have a copy of the manual so he is working blind. So it is a manipulation of power if you like. They are at the moment working very very well. I doubt there are many members of parliament that don’t know about the problem. They also work very well with the department.

While we are talking about members of parliament and talking about the past briefly, I used to be very good at getting money out of government. Phillip over there will tell you – I had five grant writers, full time, in the music business and we never missed. We got every single thing we asked for. And we never spoke to a member of parliament ever. In fact we used to refuse to invite them to our gigs because we didn’t like them, they were the libs, and I wasn’t and nor were most of our members. But we worked entirely with departments and we got direct funding for Midem and Pop Com for about ten years. They funded all of our trade fairs. We got about $800,000 for the Association of Independent Record Labels. This was twenty years ago. $800,000 for Music Managers Forum, they funded the Independent Charts, they funded the first version of AMRAP, they created the national touring for contemporary music at that point, every single grant came through us.

And they devolved a local travel grant of $300,000 for managers travelling within Australia which we actually got to manage directly. So none of that was done by going through a minister. It was all done by going directly to the departments. So while you run your political narrative over the top of it, you need to make sure that the public servants that actually do the work behind the scenes, that actually put the ideas up to ministers and have the power to stop stuff, really more power than you know, are actually on your side and are working behind the scenes because they think it’s a good idea.

So you almost have three levels – you have your political level, which is your members of parliament, you have your mechanical hard work, policy work going on at the department level, and you have your fan base able to kick in and stir things up when you need to.

JOE: In South Australia we were lucky enough to have a ‘vibrant cities agenda’ which is the way we got music into the political agenda in South Australia, and then within that the Government also had an advanced manufacturing policy, that it was developing with Sweden. So we then translated our language from creative industries into advanced manufacturing language which is what we used to convince the department who were basically refusing to talk to us until we got physical.

I am just wondering, as far as piggy backing in on agendas and such, is there anything specific we can follow as far as reviews that are coming in. Are they doing anything apart from cutting?

JULIE: I think they are talking a lot but sometimes that is a good thing. If they are talking about transition then the government departments are trying to work out what that means. So you will have a whole stack of public servants trying to work out exactly what that means.

So sometimes the approach to take is to see where a government thinks it wants to go and make it easy for them to get there. In other words, you give them the answer. Those sort of strange situations we are in now, where they is a lot of talk about innovation but there are no real strategies to get there. There is talk about export but there is no export strategy. And I doubt that the government even understands what the word transition means at this point. There is talk about innovation but there is no real talk about social innovation. There is no real talk innovation in terms of what a product actually is. So it is an opportunity to go out there and fill the gap, particularly with the public sector and provide the government with some answers they can actually announce, because they don’t have any.

JOE: I was thinking in regards to the Contemporary Music Plan being announced at lunch, that the industry is pulling together an approach and a set of asks, so that is something we can do to hone in and fix and build campaigns around. I have to say I totally love UK Music, and I helped out on the Victorian Music Works policy and I totally geeked out when I spoke to them. It was the first time I had ever spoken to anyone in the creative industries that just hit me with data. Everything they did was based on understanding and knowledge, drilled down into some really deep analytical work around the data.

The stuff that we heard yesterday about the data we are collecting, and there are some really big things that are happening in Australia at the moment, and around the world… is our data strong enough?

DEAN: I think there is a lot happening in that space now. I think for a long time there wasn’t a lot there and I know it was referred to yesterday. We did some research with Ernst & Young a few years ago around the economic contribution of the venue based live music industry, so pubs, clubs etc., and that absolutely opens doors. We were able to have meetings with people we hadn’t been able to get in to see previously because we could articulate “this is about jobs”. The research talked about jobs, numbers of performances, a return on investments sort of concept. We have followed that up with research around tax offsets, which the opposition has picked up and had a look at, through Tony Bourke. The government is showing no interest whatsoever, I think it’s just a leap too far.

Yesterday there was presentation from a panel around ARC grants. So there are three of them in play at the moment that relate to the music industry. That is a first. The sad thing is there is a three year process around those, and one of those reports is very important from everyone’s perspective in this room, which is around the export piece and specifically from our point of view, around the funding of Sounds Australia.

One of the things we are trying to articulate when we are talking to state and federal government is around supporting the life cycle of the creator. So that’s everything from the rights that underlies the work, through to the various stages of a creator and an artist’s career. I think we need to string that together into a story that is easy to tell with points around it, researched data, case studies etc. We are pulling that together. To answer your question, I think there is a lot of content coming into the space, it’s probably a matter of how is it framed up. Is everyone armed up with the same information so through our collective networks we are hitting the right points at the right time?

JOE: The work that we did in South Australia – I think everyone finds that when you are trying to get something new up, if you can look to someone who is bigger than me, or supposedly more exciting than you, you can go “look what they are doing, we should be doing that”. Recently coming back from conferences in Europe, they were looking at what South Australia was doing. London being a prime example. So it is possible to look at a place that is smaller than you to see what they are doing. And we copied Sweden, and bits from Melbourne and we copied bits from Sydney, so we used the same tactics as well. We were talking before about the Swedish example, is there any other examples around the world we should be looking at, in terms of putting together a policy.

DEAN: I think UK Music is a good example. That would require – and when I say industry, I mean both sides of the industry. So the publishing side and the label side to put their hands in their pocket more to fund something like UK Music. Sweden we think is a good example because it is a life cycle of the creator type of example. They invest heavily in the education side. They teach kids to write songs instead of just being performers, and they see it come out the other end as being one of the greatest contemporary pop writing nations. They are a good small nation to look at in terms of what they have going and why culturally has the country invested so heavily in that space.

To bring it back to your original question about statistics, I think it would be a huge step forward. We are not even close. Forget having an organisation like UK Music, but being able to publish a report like they publish every year, which is a snapshot of the health of the industry, good and bad. I think that would be a huge achievement. We probably can’t even decide how big is the music industry, where does it stop? Where does it start? I think it would be a huge step forward. It’s a huge process in our maturation, our ability to lobby, to do everything, is just to be able to publish an annual report. That is credible. Not opportunistic.

What we want is an annual credible snapshot of where the contemporary music industry is, so we are able to know how far we have come, and what we have done badly, that sort of thing. To me that opens the way to be strategic, to set goals and that helps then with resource allocation. But unless you can measure that regularly, reliably, and credibly, then to be frank you are back in the realm of arts and “we’re really cultural and you have to help us out because we are really important and we make people feel good, and you can get your picture with Jimmy Barnes”. I started in 1980 and about 99 percent of what I have seen over the years has been that, and I think that has to change.

JULIE: There are some things that you probably should leap into straight away which would give you an opportunity to expand the dialogue. There is a new small business loan program called EFIC, it is brand new. It is completely unsuited for the music industry because it is assumes you have a purchase order for product, and you manufacture them here and you get a loan to fund your stock before you export. So basically it’s industrial stuff. It doesn’t apply to anyone who is exporting intellectual property at all, unless you are exporting a physical thing, it doesn’t work for you. There are two reasons why that is really bad. One, it leaves out the growth sectors in the economy. The second thing is, for hard exporters, it allows them to create money, because you get a loan through EFIC, you do your exporting, then you get 50 percent of your costs back through the export market development grant scheme, which also isn’t terribly suited to music. So if you get your numbers right, you can actually create money for free, it’s actually quite interesting. But you guys are just not in it at all, it is not for you. It is set up for the last century, not the new one. So if you get into that space, you can have a really serious discussion with the government about the nature of exporting intangible products and how it works and how much it is growing. So it allows you to do two things at once. And you should just be in there now really on that.

Joe does thank yous. Panel ends.


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