Push to export Aussie music across globe

Award-winning singer Jenny Morris says the local music industry isn't being supported.
Award-winning singer Jenny Morris says the local music industry isn't being supported.

Australia's music industry has renewed calls for greater support and investment so local tunes can be exported across the globe.

Australasian Performing Right Association chair and ARIA winner Jenny Morris says a good song can create jobs.

"A good song also builds Australia's intellectual property assets, generating big incomes - including export earnings, because a good song travels the world finding new performers and new audiences," she told the National Press Club on Wednesday.

But she says the local industry isn't being supported.

Morris pointed to a lack of composition and songwriting education at schools, saying it's stunting the growth of what could be a major cultural export.

She says the second "pain point" is planning decisions and councils closing down live music venues.

The third is a "cultural straightjacket".

"While most of our larger trading partners celebrate and support their creative industries with healthy local content quotas and investment, ours have been traded away, and capped in our US free trade agreement," she said.

"It's a triple-lock around learning, creation, presentation and performance of music. It is the great tragedy of our sector and the real job killer in our industry."

Morris says the nation can be a music exporter by:

* All levels of government having policy and investment towards Australia being a net exporter of music

* Songwriting included as part of the national curriculum

* Protecting and promoting cultural infrastructure like live music venues

* Incentivising and ensuring local music production and performance across all media platforms

The live music industry is hurting due to restrictions enforced because of coronavirus and artists are still in the dark on when performances can return.

Artist manager John Watson says the government must introduce a broad arts support package as a matter of urgency.

"From our standpoint the house is on fire," he said.

"Unless and until there's some certainty around the return to live performance, that's a large chunk of most musicians' lives so we'll be continuing to struggle."

Australian Associated Press