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Government announces new round of its Catalyst program funding allocations for the arts – music industry largely absent

The Turnbull Government has promised a huge $12 million to assist in funding to more than 45 arts organisations as part of the controversial Catalyst program.

Sound Australia

Although the Arts Minister Mitch Fifield has not made any official statements, an updated list of the funding scheme and recipients was made visible the department’s website after Malcolm Turnbull called for an election on July 2.

As reported by Fairfax, those majorly benefitting from the funding are The Australian Ballet, which is being granted $1 million, The Bundanon Trust artist’s residence has received $995,000, Queensland’s Circa received $840,000, Playwrighting Australia received $800,000, the National Library of Australia gained $660,000 and the Expressions Dance Company received $610,000.

Although there is a great amount of support shown here for the Australian arts culture, there is no hint of any support for the music industry, which questions the fairness and even playing field of the Catalyst program. Hopefully, out of their $12 million budget, there will be room in the next round to throw some support to the music industry. Fifield’s spokesperson said in a statement that applications are “always open and, as such, the assessment process is ongoing and successful recipients are announced on a rolling basis.”

Music industry professional Alastair Burns took to Facebook to express his concern for the last of support for Australian music, explaining, “Despite the Liberal government being economic conservatives, they are withdrawing support for a contemporary music industry that simply must be sustainable to survive, and acts accordingly, and giving it to areas of the arts that don’t even aspire to a sustainable business model.

“I want to see all arts supported, but funding should be assessed on a level playing field away from favours to friends and archaic views of what has cultural value.”

Sounds Australia, one of the country’s most invaluable assets in exporting Australian talent, is one such sector that has been hit hard by the allocations, having just announced that they had been denied funding by the Catalyst program.

Sounds Australia are responsible for providing a strategic platform to assist the Aussie music industry in making international connections. You may have heard the name from one of the many ‘Aussie BBQ’ showcases that are put on by Sounds Australia at international festivals such as the Great Escape and SXSW.

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May 10, 2016

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