New peak body for Victorian Music

Victoria’s contemporary music sector received a boost last month with Arts Minister Peter Batchelor announcing the formation of a new peak body – Music Victoria.

The announcement follows the establishment of a Live Music taskforce that is meeting regularly to resolve a number of concerns about the impact current liquor licensing arrangements were having on some small music venues.

Mr Batchelor said the Brumby Labor Government would provide seed funding of up to $250,000 to support the establishment of an independent body, Music Victoria.

“Melbourne and Victoria play a key role Australia’s music scene and contemporary music is an important economic and social driver in our community,” Mr Batchelor said.

“From dedicated musicians, iconic festivals and passionate audiences, Victoria is renowned as being the place for music.

“Music Victoria will represent the sector’s interests on a local, national and even an international level and ensure Victoria’s contemporary music credentials remain strong.”

Mr Batchelor said that in 2009 music industry organisations, The Push, The Australian Performing Rights Association, the Australian Independent Records Label Association and the Australian Music Industry Network joined with Arts Victoria to form a Steering Committee to determine if there was a case for the establishment of a peak body for Victoria.

“After consultations with more than 650 Victorian artists, business owners and music industry workers, support for a peak body in this state was resounding,” Mr Batchelor said.

“Music Victoria will provide a unified voice and will play a role in advocacy and industry development by providing support services for music makers and small businesses as well as a knowledge-hub and on-line resources.

“But most importantly, Music Victoria will celebrate and promote our fantastic contemporary music scene.”

Music Victoria representative Peter Chellew said: “Music Victoria is delighted to have the support of the Victorian government at this important time for contemporary music in our state.

“We look forward to working with the Victorian Government to ensure that the talented artists, businesses and creative workers who make up our music community continue to flourish.”

The Music Victoria Committee will seek the involvement of the media industry to establish the body and will start the search for a director.

A detailed funding agreement with milestones will be established over the coming weeks between the Government and Music Victoria.

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