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ELECTION SPOTLIGHT: WA Labor announces music policy including $3million music fund

20 Jan



Here at WAM, we’re passionate about supporting WA music, which is why we’ll be covering the major parties’ electoral commitments to the WA music industry in the lead up to the WA state election, sharing any of the key policies that directly affect the industry.

In an announcement at The Bird today, WA Labor leader Mark McGowan outlined Labor’s music strategy, which includes a $3million Creative Music Fund and planning reforms to grow and support the WA music industry. Local musician Mark Neal played a song before Mr McGowan addressed the media.

WAM CEO Mike Harris commented, “WAM welcomes any additional investment in music that will provide stimulation and opportunities for the WA music industry. Music delivers significant economic, social and cultural enrichment to the lives of Western Australians, but that doesn’t happen without giving artists the ability to create and play their music. Investment in programs that support artists and the broader music sector are imperative as we want WA’s music scene to flourish.”

The policies are outlined by Labor’s press release issued today, as follows:

“A McGowan Labor Government in tune with the WA music industry:

  • A McGowan Labor Government will establish a $3million Creative Music Fund to support the music industry in WA
  •   New strategy includes grants for local emerging artists
  • Planning reforms to protect existing live music venues and assist with development of new venues
  • WA’s music industry is important for the social, cultural and economic growth of our State and is worth almost $1billion a year to the local economy

A McGowan Labor Government will establish a $3million Creative Music Fund and introduce planning reforms to grow and support WA’s music industry. Announcing WA Labor’s creative music strategy at live music venue The Bird, Mr McGowan said the contemporary music industry is worth almost $1billion to the WA economy each year and creates almost 3,000 direct full time jobs.

Apart from the cultural and entertainment benefits the creative music industry provides, it is also a job multiplier and tourism attractor. The arts sector alone accounts for $23.6billion of national economic activity annually and employs an estimated 285,000 people, supported by a further 500,000 volunteers. The Creative Music Fund will enable musicians and those working in the industry to build links between the local music industry and the national and international industry.

A McGowan Labor Government will also work with industry stakeholders to identify ways to further develop WA’s music industry. As part of the strategy grants will be made available to local emerging artists to assist with performance, recording, marketing and promotional costs and provide opportunities to tour throughout WA and interstate.
A McGowan Labor Government will also introduce planning reforms to better support live music venues and streamline approvals processes for live performance.
We will investigate ‘agent of change’ principles similar to those introduced in Victoria, where the responsibility of noise mitigation will fall to a new development and not existing venues and residents.
Existing venues in entertainment precincts should not be burdened solely with the responsibility of noise amenity when urban infill creeps into existing entertainment zones. We will introduce a requirement that all sale documents for new developments in an existing entertainment precinct must inform buyers if they are moving near an entertainment precinct.
A McGowan Labor Government will task the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to develop and manage additional live music venues, identifying government buildings which could be used as creative hubs and introduce a State Planning Policy on live performance to streamline the approvals process for live performance venues.
WA Labor will also amend the Liquor Control Act to add a new public interest assessment category which allows for a venue’s tourism, community and cultural benefits to be considered in licence applications as part of their commitment to do more to encourage an arts friendly hospitality culture.

Comments from WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan: “The WA music industry is a strong contributor to our economy, every week, thousands of Western Australians visit music venues to watch WA bands, pumping millions into our economy. “We need to take advantage of WA’s vibrant music scene and use it to create more jobs for Western Australians… [continued]”



Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.