Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy, John Graham and State Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp have today met with the Newcastle Live Music Taskforce and local musicians from across the city to announce Labor’s support for the local music scene.


The Newcastle Live Music Taskforce will push for Newcastle to be the first place in the state to achieve the new ‘music community’ designation under this plan.


Under the NSW Liberals and Nationals, venues are closing across NSW, funding for the industry has been stagnant at $4 million over the last 4 years compared to $27 million in Victoria over the same period, and the Government has declared war on music festivals.


Labor’s plan for the music sector which includes:


  • Establishing a “Music Community” designation to recognise communities that have a strong music sector and value music. Labor will develop formal guidelines and a threshold to achieve the Music Community designation, and then work with local councils to support and promote these communities, including in Newcastle.
  • An increase in total funding for contemporary music from under $4 million over the last four years of Liberal and National Government to $35 million.
  • Direct support for artists to record and tour, including internationally through a new $1.3 million “Music Passport” program; and regionally and nationally through a new $5.1 million “Band aid” program.
  • Invest $4 million in supporting music festivals across NSW. Labor will also streamline the licensing process for music festivals and allow organisers with an established record to obtain multi-year approvals for festivals.
  • Rebuilding the suburban and regional touring circuit in NSW, with $1.3 million to support an “On the Road Again” program to take music industry promoters and booking agents on tour to regional venues and provide a substantial funding boost to the ‘Live and Local’ program.
  • Labor will work with the music industry to develop mentoring programs for music education at school. As part of this program, Labor will trial the purchase of musical instruments for ten schools in Western Sydney or rural and regional NSW.
  • Labor will formally review the provision of music education in NSW on coming to Government.


Labor will also launch a new youth music organisation, which will work with Music NSW to support young artists and promoters get a start in the industry.


Labor’s plan to stop the Liberal Party’s war on live music comes on the heels of measures already announced to save live music in NSW including implementing the Parliamentary Music Inquiry’s 60 recommendations, and implementing measures to improve conditions for music venues.



Quotes attributable to NSW Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy, John Graham


“Labor wants to keep venues open, and keep musicians in work. We want to see a thriving music community in Newcastle.”


“The measures that we have announced will help the NSW music scene reach its potential.”


Quotes attributable to Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp

“I am committed to re-building our music industry.”

“The Live Music Taskforce has worked hard over the last 12 months getting the Live Music Inquiry here and seeing the results of that input through the inquiry recommendations.”


“Based on that work we want Newcastle to be the first community in NSW to be designated a ‘music community’ under this new plan.”





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  • Chris Northam
    published this page in Media Releases 2019-03-15 11:49:26 +1100

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