The Greens Want To Introduce Living Wage For Artists

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The Greens Want To Introduce Living Wage For Artists


Spokesman of the Greens Arts Adam Bandt plans to implement a living wage for Australian artists. The party want artists to be eligible for Centrelink payments if it can be made explicit that they are trying to make themselves more ‘employable’.


This could result in musicians having to play for free. “By its nature, the work of an artist is pretty precarious and few artists are able to make a sustainable living from their art alone,” Bandt, Greens member for Melbourne said to The Age. “We are arguing that the [benefits] test should be expanded to the kind of things artists are required to do to improve their craft, for example, putting on a performance for free, or sharing the work they’ve done as part of an exhibition.”


A living wage would be great, sure. But how does an artist become more ‘employable’? One can only assume that by ‘employable’, the Greens mean more ‘active’ in terms of performing. But even that is not necessarily a proper measure of an artist’s success, especially if they have to play shows for free.


What makes an up and coming artist successful is popularity, something that can’t be quantified. Certainly not in a way that would be fair to both artist and the government handing out the payments.


Also, what would this mean for venue owners? A living wage would have a massive effect on the way owners operate their venue’s live entertainment. Nice try Adam Bandt, but this issue requires a lot more consideration of all parties involved.