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The Australian Arts Policy
The Australian Federal Election in 2022 was an opportunity for us to change our history. Well, that was the fantasy we all had right?
For those of us in the Music Industry, we were voting for the party who would support our decimated industry and help it to not only recover but to find a new and improved model.
Prior to voting day, I conducted a quick review of the various party Arts Policies, and this is what I discovered.
(Not an error, they have none. Zip. Nada. Niente. How can we ever forget who made the decision to stop live income in the Australian Music Industry for almost two years with token support via an inequitable and antiquated funding mechanism for those willing to fight for the scraps? How can we ever forget the ineffectual Arts Minister what’s his name again? )
Labor - Promised to revive their 2013 Creative Australia policy. Long time Music Industry supporter and all-round great bloke, Tony Burke, himself has acknowledged that revision is badly needed for this policy. We know they will work hard to help our industry so the bottom line will be the bottom line. What will the ROI be in contrast to the funding mechanism? And will they finally give the current funding model a much needed face lift?
Greens - $1B Live Performance Fund. The very real challenge here is like all Greens policies, without a clear forensic economic balance sheet, this fund is a unicorn. I love so much of what these guys stand for, however, I cannot see how possible this fund will be in fiscal reality.
One Nation - A big fat Duck's Egg – 0. In the days of lockdown, in one of the thousands of emails that I wrote to every single politician in Australia, asking for assistance for our Industry, Pauline was one of the few that responded quickly, with great compassion and with plenty of solid and practical suggestions to help get us all back on our feet. In such a small party, their focus is on what is deemed to be more important things. I get it. However, this industry is vital for the wellbeing of our society so a lifeline is not just desired, it is a necessity.
UAP – Clive Palmer is an incredibly wealthy individual with more than enough cash to offer a much needed leg up for our decimated industry. However, I could not find any reference online to their Arts Policy. I hate to say it Clive, but your slogan FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM plastered on billboards across the country is a reflection of an ineffective marketing strategy and this in itself demonstrates a lack of value in culture, design or Arts. Another duck egg.
Independents – Not one of them offered an Arts Policy. (If I may be so bold, for the next election, you guys need to step up and offer value to all sectors of the community.)
I reckon we need to create our own Arts Policy. Being brutally honest, no government will ever create a policy that offers you, as a music practitioner, what you yourself can. You can make your own way by working with like-minded people invested in building a market to benefit the artists, the venues, the promoters, the suppliers, the crew, the workers and the fans - the many not the few.
You can create your own opportunities. Being handed a token few thousand dollars in funding so that a government box can be ticked, won't change your career or your business long term. But developing your business chops long term, building sustainable connections, being accountable to your own healthy life choices, knowing who you are, what your story is and your why, most certainly will.
Let us create thousands of playlists called The Australian Arts Policy. Flood global streaming services with them. Celebrate your fellow artists. Add them to your playlists. Subscribe to their You Tube channels. Follow them on their Socials. Share their music with the world.
Never forget the value of what you offer the world.
Never forget that the world is a better place because of your music.
Create our own Arts Policy.
Nichola Burton is the CEO for The Pushworth Group, the Creative Director for The Manick Label, Designer UX for Aquarius™ The Integrated Solution For The Music Industry, Music Business Coach for Music Means Business.
Nichola Burton Copyright 2022