There is great potential for the development of the New National Cultural Policy For Australia to actually make a difference to contemporary music environment and the lives of Australian musicians ! Prepared by John Wardle

Contemporary Music And The New National Cultural Policy For Australia Discussion Paper

Welcome by the Minister for the Arts

Simon Crean

After ten weeks of public consultation the Australian Government will be using your feedback in finalising the development of a new National Cultural Policy – the first in nearly 20 years.

Since the discussion paper on the National Cultural Policy was released in August, organisations, community groups and thousands of Australians – from all around the country and from many different backgrounds – have contributed valuable suggestions and feedback.

This policy will reflect the many conversations that have taken place across the nation. What I have heard, overwhelmingly, is that people do believe a new cultural policy is required.

Through the National Cultural Policy, we will work to support the arts and strengthen its contribution to a dynamic and diverse Australia.

The National Cultural Policy will set the framework for Australian Government support for arts, culture and creativity for the next ten years, providing us with a common strategic direction and rationale for current and future investment.

I would like to thank you all for your responses. It is anticipated that the final policy will be released in 2012.

Simon Crean's signature

THE HON SIMON CREAN MP

Minister for the Arts

Contemporary Music And The New National Cultural Policy For Australia Discussion Paper

There is great potential for the development of the New National Cultural Policy For Australia to actually make a
difference to contemporary music environment and the lives of Australian musicians – provided that the
outcomes and commitments are progressed through to implementation.
It is disappointing that this initiative comes on the back of a long series of consultation with the music sector
since 2006 that has yet to achieve any tangible benefit.
‣ The contemporary music sector needs a more equitable distribution of the music budget be allocated to
the development of Australian contemporary music, understanding the current asymmetry that exists in
Australian music priorities from governments state and federal.
‣ The contemporary music sector needs policy development across the whole of government.
‣ The contemporary music sector needs the government to deliver on the outstanding commitments made
to Australian musicians at the last two elections.
Digital Culture
Theres a lot to be positive about the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the potential for creative
expression and participation may be almost limitless here – provided local artists are given a cut of the action.
There is no reason to consider live gigs and the NBN as being mutually exclusive either – consider for example
an international act streaming a live concert to regional venues with local acts performing a live support in the
same space prior to the main event.
The opportunities for subcultures – genres – scenes – could have great potential, with groups with a similar
interest having gigs linked across the country streamed and screened alongside live acts pumped through the
P.A. system – a set from Brisbane, one from Hobart, one from Geelong for example…
‣ What percentage of the $35.9 Billion outlay is to be spent on developing local content ? – ?
‣ What percent of the profits from the NBN are going to be invested in developing local content ? – ?
I would hope that there are plans in place for arts and local content development programs funded from the
income stream generated by the NBN?

South Australia, Western Australia, and the United Kingdom all have
community benefit funds where money goes to music and the arts from gambling revenue for example, that is
quarantined from going into general revenue. We should be borrowing the model.
Australia does not have a program to provide financial support to assist Australian artists and bands to produce
broadcast-ready commercial products for radio and export. Consideration should be given to a NZ-on-Air type
funding program or dollar for dollar investment models – if the artist can raise 10k then the Government will
match it etc.
Are the creative content providers going to be provided for in this equation? Or is it like so many events artists
are invited to participate in – where they know everyone else involved in the event is getting paid a decent
wage …… except them.
We don’t have to wait for the NBN however to support opportunities for Australian artists – ABC TV has 4 digital
channels, SBS has digital tv channels – lets have some live music on 1 of them… ABC3 currently closes at 9pm.
9pm-6am Aussie content please.. This is undeveloped cultural real estate that we should be using for our own
voices, with live bands in ABC studios, or streamed from venues around Australia.
Think of the TAB channel only with Music – Visual Arts – Drama – Dance, instead of Trots, Dogs and Racing.

Intellectual Property (IP) And The Rights Of Artists In The Digital Environment.
The big challenge facing the development of online content is intellectual property (IP) and the rights of artists in
the digital environment. This is a priority issue. This is a vexed issue.
The digital environment is a new marketplace – understood – but should not the same ground rules should apply
when accessing content as in the traditional retail environment? If not, why not? How are we going to do it?.
Maybe the solution is out there in a commercial model entirely unrelated to the digital environment.
Policy development across the digital sphere should ensure the rights of artists to earn an income from their
work in some capacity. I think we have a cultural issue here. Its about the transaction, and how we perceive the
artist.The Music Matters initiative is something everyone should know about in this context.
We already know artists get paid very little – are we seriously suggesting they get paid less?
Its going to be tricky to stay online when your electricity and internet have been cut off because you are broke.
The Convergence Review
Australia has a content standard for television. Radio should be no different. We should ensure the Australian
Communications and Media Authority develops a nuanced program standard for digital radio & remove the
temporary exemption from the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice. There is already a need for funding and
investment incentives to support local content production – even without any reduction in content quotas.
Our local content thresholds are already lower than international standards. It is my understanding that the
current radio quota threshold cannot be mandated higher due to free trade agreements – and if we give away
the threshold now the concern is that its gone forever.

Unless a sound argument that is culturally responsible and not just commercially motivated can be raised.

Local content quotas should be protected!

What is the trade off here – do we need to make one? If local content quotas are to be removed, how much will
be invested in local content production as compensation?
The Tax Summit
Heres an example of where the contemporary music sector needs policy development across the whole of
government. We need to do more than just handing out grants to the usual suspects and think more broadly
about how a real difference can be made.
‣ Investment incentives / foundations and philanthropy – Negotiate investment/tax incentives for the
establishment of an industry supported fund for recording grants (which Australia doesn’t have). The
Australian film industry attracts 20% of its income from tax offsets. If the Australian music industry could
attract a 20% increase in investment that would be quite extraordinary.
‣ Increase the family tax benefit to allow parents to claim $500 + p/child on private tuition in music and the
arts . To support participation, literacy and jobs prior to the introduction of music in the national
curriculum.
‣ Superannuation schemes and arrangements for artists and low income earners. – look at incentives and
tax rates for low earners making additional contributions to retirement savings.

Commission A Nugent-style Report For The Music (and Small To Medium Arts) Sector
The contemporary music sector is facing similar issues that the major performing arts companies faced ten
years ago. Funding, access, financial viability.
One of the great challenges the Australian music community faces is the major performing arts agreement
between the states and the federal government that obliges each tier of government to guarantee a substantial
financial commitment to the major performing arts.

For states like NSW where there is less GST revenue per capita and greater pressure on budgets from public sector wages to give just one example, small to medium sector and arts development programs have been unable attract a fraction of the dollars guaranteed to the protected major performing arts organisations on any consistent basis as highly pressured state budgets come around.

Contemporary music development and the small to medium arts sector have been very very poorly served by
this structure. The collateral damage is not something that the parties who negotiated the agreement should be
proud of.
We need a Nugent-style report to investigate the financial viability of the music (and small to medium arts) sector
to ensure that arts development can actually survive in the same pool as the major performing arts sector in this
country, and secure the future.
Outstanding Election Commitments To The Contemporary Music Sector
The contemporary music sector needs the government to deliver on the outstanding commitments made to
Australian musicians at the last two elections.
These include:
1. Strategic Contemporary Music Industry Plan (Election promise 2007 / 2010).
i. Establish the Australian Contemporary Music Industry Advisory Council. Including DPMC Arts
Office, Australia Council, State arts agencies, APRA, AMIN state associations, ARIA, AMA –
to develop a coordinated investment strategy.

ii. Develop best practice guide to improve workplaces for live performance.

iii. The creation of a National Live Music Coordinator position.

iv. Assist State and Territories in reducing regulatory barriers to live performance.
Re: point 4, In Victoria in 2009/10 we saw the liquor compliance campaign that enforced conditions on
venue licenses ignored by the government for a decade that shut down many venues with a stroke
of a pen. Maybe if this election policy had been actioned in 2007/8 and resources allocated to dialogue
on state related cultural policy this disaster could have been avoided.

2. Social Security and the Arts policy – Art Start (Election promise 2007).

3. Amend the Migration Regulations 1994 for the Temporary Entertainment Visa to require Australian
supports for all international acts (Election promise in 2007).
Every international act that tours Australia should have a local act hitch their wagon to the tour. This was a
promise from the 2007 election and from 2010. This is a regulation amendment and does not require an
Act of Parliament. This should go to cabinet for final approval and be progressed quickly.

4. Music Education In The National Curriculum

Music Education In The National Curriculum.
We need this government to deliver on a commitment to the provision of an arts education including music for
all Australian school students (Election promise 2007). If we had to choose one policy priority out of all of the
ideas discussed maybe this would be the one that might make the biggest difference in the long run.
The Australian Music Budget In 2011 – Where Does The Money Go?
In recent weeks I was discussing arts priorities with a faculty member at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music –
who noted – ”Its not the Australia council, it’s the European council if you look at who’s music gets the real
support from government”.
‣ Opera and Orchestra – over $70 Million
‣ The Australian Defence Force – over $50 Million on 14 bands and a school of music
‣ The Music Board of the Australia Council – only $5.3 Million
At a time when there is a review our existing industry structures and spending programs the policy makers are
no doubt aware of who are the haves and the have-nots in the Australian music policy environment when it
comes to what really counts – where the money goes to support programs and development each year.
Note in this context that the NZ on Air program spends $5.4 Million annually just on recording grants to NZ
artists – more than the entire Music Board of the Australia Council budget – and that the Australian military
spends 10 times the Music Board of the Australia Council budget.
Whilst the direction from the contemporary music sector in this discussion has been to grow a bigger pie for the
development of Australian music generally, it has been disappointing to note the petulant reaction of a small
sector of the opera and orchestra community to this debate.
Were the funding model the other way around and contemporary musicians to receive over 90% of the music
budget on an annual basis decade after decade and the classical music sector to be consistently marginalized
at budget time then I am confident the contemporary musicians would be highly supportive of increased funding
and policy support of the classical sector.
What a disaster for Australian cultural policy that this is the position the Australian contemporary music sector
finds itself in. If your gig is not in the concert hall or the opera house you are not included. Up to now.
Recent Consultation History With The Contemporary Music Sector, 2006-2011
2006 – Federal Labors Arts Discussion Paper
2007 – ‘New Directions For The Arts”
2007 – Bringing Aussie Musicians Centre Stage
2009 – “2020”
2010 -“Investing in a Creative Australia” and Submissions on a National Cultural Policy
2011 – National Cultural Policy discussion paper
Hopefully we will finally see someone kick some goals for contemporary music in 2012.
Many Thanks.
John is a musician, teacher and activist on the regulation of entertainment and live music in New South Wales and Australia

There is a critical need from the contemporary music sector for the Federal Government to introduce the policy
commitments and priorities that have been passed over now on an annual basis in the last decade.
Cultural policy must address the asymmetry in the music budget and priorities of the Australia Council to be more inclusive
of programs to support Australian contemporary music.
Strategic policy intervention needs to take a whole of government approach, across education, trade, immigration,
communications and tax and treasury to begin to make Australia a nurturing place for contemporary music.

There is a critical need from the contemporary music sector for the Federal Government to introduce the policy
commitments and priorities that have been passed over now on an annual basis in the last decade.
Cultural policy must address the asymmetry in the music budget and priorities of the Australia Council to be more inclusive
of programs to support Australian contemporary music.
Strategic policy intervention needs to take a whole of government approach, across education, trade, immigration,
communications and tax and treasury to begin to make Australia a nurturing place for contemporary music.
Action / Policy
Fulfill 2007 / 2010 election
commitments to the contemporary
music sector.
Walk the talk.
‣ Strategic Contemporary Music Industry Plan (Election promise 2007 / 2010).
‣ Social Security and the Arts policy – Art Start (Election promise 2007).
‣ Amend the Migration Regulations 1994 for the Temporary Entertainment Visa to
require Australian supports for all international acts (Election promise in 2007).
‣ Work with States, Territories and local government to reduce barriers to live
music performance and encourage live music precincts (Election promise 2007).
‣ Boosting music industry exports through a more coordinated and consistent
approach to international marketing (Election promise in 2007).
Complete the Strategic
Contemporary Music Industry Plan
and introduce its components,
including;
‣ Establish the Australian Contemporary Music Industry Advisory Council.
Including DPMC Arts Office, Australia Council, State arts agencies, APRA, AMIN
state associations, ARIA, AMA – to develop a coordinated investment strategy.
‣ Assist State and Territories in reducing regulatory barriers to live performance.
‣ Develop best practice guide to improve workplaces for live performance.
‣ The creation of a National Live Music Coordinator position.
Securing the future: Contemporary music and the small to medium arts
sector.
‣ The contemporary music sector is facing similar issues that the major
performing arts companies faced ten years ago. Funding, access, financial
viability and artistic vibrancy.
‣ Commission a Nugent-style report to investigate the financial viability of the
music (and small to medium arts) sector and secure the future.
Music education in the national curriculum.
‣ Delivering on a commitment to the provision of an arts education including
music for all Australian school students (Election promise 2007).
Address the asymmetry in the music budget and priorities of the Australia
Council.
‣ The Australia Council invested $83.5 million in music in 2011, of which only $5.3
million goes to the Music Board and not all of that to contemporary music. This
needs to be increased by at least $5 million targeted at contemporary music
industry development.
Negotiate investment/tax incentives
for the establishment of an industry
supported fund for recording grants.
‣ To provide financial support to assist Australian artists and bands to produce
broadcast-ready commercial products for radio and export. NZ invests $5.4
million per year on funding for recording and music videos through NZ On Air.
Expand the existing education tax rebate.
‣ Increase the family tax benefit to allow parents to claim $500 + p/child on
private tuition in music and the arts . To support participation, literacy and jobs
prior to the introduction of music in the national curriculum.
A commitment to research. ‣ Secure investment in research and statistics for improving data relating to the
contemporary music industry to further inform policy.
Copyright Issues for contemporary
music.
‣ The evolving digital environment creates significant challenges for the music
sector. The rights of Australian artists must be respected by regulators.
Ensure that the temporary exemption from local content requirements for
digital radio is not renewed.
‣ Australia has a content standard for television. Radio should be no different.

Ensure ACMA develops a nuanced program standard for digital radio & remove
the temporary exemption from the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice.
Music Australia.

‣ Consideration given to the establishment of a Federal Government direct
funding body for the Australian music industry sector informed by the Screen
Australia precedent. This would be separate from the Australia Council.

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