Support Act funding a critical first step for music sector

Thursday, 09 Apr 2020

APRA AMCOS applauds the announcement today of urgent Australian Government funding for Support Act, Australia’s only charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew and music workers.

“The Australian Government’s commitment of $10 million for Support Act comes at a critical time for many individuals hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dean Ormston, CEO APRA AMCOS. 

“The introduction of necessary restrictions on public gatherings in March due to the pandemic has had a profound and immediate impact on the music industry. This has been devastating for hundreds of thousands of artists, musicians, songwriters, crew, managers and workers across the local industry.”

The $10 million package for Support Act will allow this vital service to recruit new counsellors and expand counselling services, provide critical resources to music and performing arts artists and workers whether they are in metropolitan or regional areas and provide crisis relief to those individuals most affected by this crisis. 

“Not many people realise the Australian music sector contributes over $15 billion of value to the local community, providing vital commercial, individual and civic benefits.  This is not to mention the joy that people here and around the world derive from Australian music whether it’s live venues, on radio, in nightclubs, at festivals, on screen or through streaming services,” Ormston said.

“The complexity and depth of the industry that delivers this music includes thousands of businesses, large and small across the nation, that keep the engine running in one of Australia’s most innovative and exciting industries.”

“The music sector was one of the first to be hit by restrictions and will be one of the last to be able to recommence trade. We’re working to assist the government in understanding the diversity of businesses impacted in our sector – from the immediacy of artists, sole-traders, contractors, event producers and allied service providers - to music publishers, labels and production companies that will be impacted in the months to come by the lag effect. Proper government support will be critical to the breadth of the industry remaining viable,” Ormston said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Government to ensure the short to medium term viability of Australia’s music sector and to assist the industry to jump-start as restrictions are removed.”

As part of this announcement, $7 million in critical funding has also been allocated to support Indigenous arts centres to help protect First Nations cultural knowledge and who employ COVID-19 vulnerable people. $10 million has been provided to Regional Arts Australia’s Regional Arts Fund to help regional artists and organisations develop new work and explore new delivery models.

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