Announced yesterday, the Victorian State Budget 2024/25 acknowledged that times are tough for many, with our economy continuing to be challenged by local and international forces, including inflation and cost of living.

 

In the current climate, we are pleased to see that the Music Works program will continue to be supported – with the Allan Labor Government making a $1 million investment in 2024-25 to back Victoria’s musicians in the face of unprecedented industry challenges.

 

In addition, we acknowledge the allocation of $6.5 million over four years to support creative festivals and homegrown events. We eagerly anticipate receiving further details regarding this allocation and what it will mean for the music industry.

 

We’re also pleased to see support for small businesses including those in the music industry:

 

Despite the unresolved challenges faced by live music venues regarding insurance and the discontinuation of the sick leave guarantee, so important for the music industry gig workers (noting the State Govt is calling on the Federal Government to take this over), we remain committed to advocating for these issues and others to the government.

 

At Music Victoria’s core, it is our mission to advocate for a valued, progressive, and equitable Victorian music scene. Music Victoria’s 2024/25 advocacy priorities are:

 

“While this budget doesn’t solve the monumental challenges currently faced by the industry, it is as we expected given the wider economic context. We look forward to informing future Victorian State budgets as part of the next Victorian Creative State strategy, to which so many from all sectors across our industry have already contributed their insights as part of our recent extensive industry stakeholder consultations.” – Fiona Duncan, Deputy Chair, Music Victoria

 

We encourage further industry contributions to help inform our policy positions. Have your say by filling out this short survey.

 

Right now, applications are open for the Victorian Gig Fund ($1.27 million available in year 1) and the Live Music Festivals Fund ($900,000 available in year 1) both which are four year programs.  Round 1 applications close 17 May 2024. Head to our website for further details.

 

A live music venue audit is also currently underway, as are consultations with the Department of Planning to enhance land use planning protection of live music venues in Victoria.

 

Music Victoria is only as strong as its community, and we will continue to serve our diverse and broad-reaching community as meaningfully as possible. Show your strength and solidarity for the live music community and enhance our influence, reach and advocacy by becoming a Music Victoria Member today.

 

If you have any questions or want to have a deeper conversation, our door is always open.

 

Warmly,

Simone and the team at Music Victoria

As promised, we write today with further updates on the advocacy work we have been doing in response to the issues that were raised by you, our members, at the end of 2023.

 

With the exponential increase in public liability insurance costs faced by our live music venues still topping the list in terms of urgency, we invite you to our Navigating Insurance session. Taking place next week on Thursday 16 March at 6:00pm, the session will take an in-depth look at the work that has been done and our approaches for the future including what ‘market failure’ really means and when government intervention is warranted.

 

As we approach International Women’s Day it also feels fitting to share some updates on the work that has been done since the Raising Their Voices report was released. It is vital that those who generously and courageously shared their experiences are heard and that the work to bring about change continues to be done.

 

Please note that the issues that the report was examining may cause distress and can be unsettling. Support Act offer a dedicated Safety At Work helpline for artists, managers, crew and music workers which is a free, confidential phone counselling service available to anyone who works in music or the arts. It has trained clinicians for callers to speak with and is accessible by calling 1800 959 500 – option 5 within Australia. Remember: if you or someone you care about is in crisis or at immediate risk, dial 000.

 

While the report made 17 very clear recommendations, a lot of the immediate work has been for each business to get its own house in order, and we at Music Victoria are no exception.

 

ACTIONS WE’VE TAKEN SINCE THE REPORT WAS RELEASED:

 

ACTIONS WE’VE WITNESSED SINCE THE REORT WAS RELEASE:

      1. Prohibit hostile environments (Recommendation 16c)
      2. Place a positive duty on employers (Recommendation 17)
      3. Enforce compliance (Recommendation 18)
      4. Share legal costs (Recommendation 25)
      5. Enable systems inquiries (Recommendation 19)
      6. Allow representative applications (Recommendation 23)
      7. Mandate public sector reporting (Recommendation 43)

“This changes our settings from being reactive to also being proactive, so that employers are required to take meaningful action to prevent harassment from occurring. It shifts the emphasis from a complaints-based model to one where employers must take action, and continuously assess and evaluate whether they are meeting the requirements of the duty.”

 

While some of these actions may still feel a bit far removed from your everyday and the grassroots music scene, they are all essential in addressing the power imbalance that creates environments in which such awful behaviour can happen.

 

With such systemic issues, we need everyone to keep doing the work in making change, but to quote one of those brave voices who shared their experiences and participated in the independent review into sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in the Australian contemporary music industry “I feel optimistic that we are moving in the right direction”.

 

If you have any questions or want to have a deeper conversation, our door is always open.

 

Warmly,

Simone and the team at Music Victoria

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