In Senate Estimates last night it was confirmed that the Turnbull Government is planning to axe the funding for Sounds Australia at the end of this year.
Sounds Australia has been responsible for a massive increase in opportunities for Australian artists around the world. The figures speak for themselves. In 2009, Australian 49 artists were appearing at international events. In just 5 years Sounds Australia took that to 263 - an increase of 437 per cent.
SENATOR BILYK: Sounds Australia does a brilliant job promoting Australian music to the world, but I understand that funding for this vital work has not been guaranteed beyond 31 December 2016?
ARTS DEPARTMENT: That’s correct Senator.
This government seems determined to attack live music from every angle. Support has dropped off for the live music office, the Australia Council funding has been attacked and visa arrangements look set to cause real damage to the touring and festival circuit.
Live music matters, with the advent of streaming Australian artists rely more and more on live performance to be able to remain in the industry. Accessing the international market is essential to making sure Australian music can thrive. The Minister can fix this with one simple decision.
At the exact time we should be turning the volume up for live music this government is reaching for the off switch. It can be fixed, it must be.
All it takes is for the Minister Mitch Fifield to guarantee funding for Sounds Australia for next year and beyond and our live musicians will be able to continue to have the opportunities and support essential for an Australian soundtrack.
Sounds Australia is dedicated to Australia’s export music market and development it is a joint initiative of the Australia council and APRA/AMCOS and in the past has been supported by the Federal Government and the State Government and Agencies.