With less than a week out from the Federal Election, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced over $30 million in grants and funding to bolster Australia's live music industry.
Appearing at recently re-opened Melbourne music Mecca The Espy, Shorten announced an eye-watering $20m of cashola to inject directly into the Australian Music Live Music Fund to support live music venues, festivals, cultural precincts and artists in need. Labor have also promised more than $10m towards Sounds Australia in order to assist with driving local exports into the international market, while the Australian Independent Record Labels Association will receive over $2m to support mentorship programs.
Elsewhere, NFP's Support Act, a charity helping Australian music industry professionals in need, will cop $5m over five years to establish a comprehensive mental health program to match the fast-paced nature of the current industry. There's also plans to inject $3m into supporting Indigenous theatre troupes and dance companies, as well as an extra $40m in funding for the ABC and $20m towards the SBS to bolster public broadcasting.
Shorten has also announced that the ALP are gunning to take ticket scalpers head on with legislation that sets a resale price cap of 110% on tickets to events, as well as outlawing ticket bots and directing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to implement watchdogs over the ticketing industry.
While these pledges all sound great on paper, it's worth noting that the Liberal Party's own Scott Morrison also pledged $30m for the music industry in his budget reveal early last month. Given the contentious internal nature of Australian political parties, we're not entirely confident that Australia's music industry is anywhere near the top of either party's priority list - but hey, we'd love to be surprised. Fingers crossed we'll be seeing some of that cash money real soon.
FInd out more about Shorten's $30m proposal here.