Australian music groups are calling on the federal government to create a national agency to develop the industry.
In a joint submission to the government’s national cultural policy, 18 music industry groups called for an agency to deal with skills development, exports, local content incentives, insurance and intellectual property.
Dean Ormston runs an organization called APRA AMCOS that helps songwriters, composers, and publishers manage royalties.
He is one of those who are calling for a national organization.
“We say there is a huge opportunity for our industry, and it is long overdue for there to be substantial investment in its sustainability and potential,” Ormston told AAP.
The agency would also invest in First Nations music and the work of young musicians, according to the coalition, which includes ARIA, Live Performance Australia and APRA AMCOS.
While some artists achieve international fame, for most it’s a tough gig, Ormston said.
“If you look at the average salary of people working in the music industry, it’s among the lowest, it’s a very difficult industry to get into.”
While the film industry benefits from tax breaks and structured government support, the music industry receives only piecemeal funding, Ormston said.
Performers have been particularly hard hit by COVID, with live music virtually shut down in much of the country for two years.
Ormston also wants to see tax compensation for concert halls to help the entertainment industry recover.
Earlier in September, a large-scale independent review concluded that harassment, sexual abuse and bullying were rampant in the Australian music industry.
According to the Raising Their Voices report, more than half of people working in the music industry have experienced sexual harassment or abuse at work.
The government’s national cultural policy, which will determine long-term funding priorities for the arts sector, is expected by the end of the year.