Supporting Australia's Music Industry

27 Mar 2018 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (16:46): Tonight, the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Music will be holding its annual Rock the House event to showcase some of our best Australian music. This is a bipartisan group, as you can see, Mr Deputy Speaker, and I'm grateful to the member for Whitlam for his support. Tonight we are delighted to welcome exciting new talent All Our Exes Live in Texas; Australian music legend Ian Moss, singer, songwriter and member of Cold Chisel; Oz rock legend John Paul Young; and the multi-award-winning Kasey Chambers, who is actually a fellow South Australian. These iconic Australian musicians are here to explain the importance of copyright protection for our artists, to ensure Australian artists get the airtime they deserve, and to explain the benefits of promoting their work overseas.

Australian musicians are small-business people. They employ, they invest and they export. Our artists and their record labels contribute $4 billion to $6 billion to our economy each year. Growing music exports would see these figures grow. I am grateful to the team at APRA AMCOS, the Australian Performing Rights Association, for their support of artists, for the policy development work they do and, of course, for their support of the event here at Parliament House this evening. They are tireless in their efforts for their members and for Australian music. Thanks also to industry body ARIA, and the PPCA.

Music and live music are also supported by our pubs. Live music alone generates $1½ billion to $2 billion per annum, and, in my home state of South Australia, for example, in any given month, some 70 per cent of live music gigs are performed in our pubs, providing jobs and work for everyone who is associated with hotels. My sincere thanks to the Australian Hotels Association and to Diageo for their support of the event tonight. Last year I spoke about the top six things that members of the parliament and musicians have in common, I spoke about the economic contribution musicians and our pubs make to our nation and I spoke about the important role musicians have in taking our Australian stories to the world. Today I want to acknowledge the role they play in
providing the soundtracks to our lives. I've listed some of the songs that mean a lot to me as part of a playlist put together for Sounds Australia, along with eight of my Liberal, Nationals, Labor and Greens colleagues. One of the songs chosen by the member for Dawson was GANGgajang's 'Sounds of Then'.

The songwriter reflected that 'smells and sounds and sensations can rekindle a memory, which is what music does so successfully for people'. Whether it's the first song your partner played for you or the first band you saw live, whether it's the tapes and the
records your parents played during your childhood—whatever it might be, whatever the special memory is for you—our musicians provide the soundtracks to our lives. On behalf of every Australian who enjoys Australian music, I want to thank all of our fabulous musicians, particularly those performing here for us this evening, and I hope that everyone has a really enjoyable night.