Music, unfortunately, was never a popular topic discussed in the lead-up to the federal budget. With the government’s National Cultural Policy being deferred until further notice, 2012 was not looking promising for the arts sector, especially as this was the first policy to be planned for almost 20 years.
However, when the budget was officially handed down last night, there was some surprisingly good news for contemporary music.
Arts Minister Simon Crean, has promised $3 million to the contemporary music sector to assist industry and export. This will specifically target songwriting, stage craft, audience development and communications.
Sounds Australia, whose goal is to get Australian music recognised by international markets, is said to receive a $1.7 million boost, aimed towards getting more local acts a chance to support international acts on tour.
There is also funding set aside for increasing the frequency and amount of venues booking live music.
With so many local music venues forced to close their doors recently, including the shock news of Phoenix Public House’s closure yesterday alongside the likes of The East Brunswick Club, The Arthouse and The Public Bar; getting support from venues that are willing and able to regularly host live music is definitely an important issue.
The remaining $1.3 million will go towards workforce development issues, including apprenticeships, internships and song writing/performance programs through the West Australian Music Industry Association.
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