The budget decision made a year ago by Australia’s Federal Arts Minister led to a devastating result, announced today. Over 20 music and performing arts companies are defunded, which will reduce creative output, jobs, and opportunities for Australian audiences.

Among the big losers of funding is Music Australia, a national music service organisation providing information, development, and advocacy services across the whole art form and namely in education.

Music Australia CEO Chris Bowen noted in a press release: “More Australians attend live music than sport, and the live music industry alone employs some 65,000 people. It is vital that we focus our energies on developing and growing the sector. That has been Music Australia’s mission since day one. That is a sign of an innovative nation, one that boosts, not cuts its creative sector.

It is disappointing that this decision comes when the organisation is enjoying substantial uptake in services and engagement following a significant transformation. Over 650,000 Australians accessed Music Australia programs in all states and territories in 2015. The Board has determined to continue with the current industry and policy development strategy and services, and is consulting with members and examining a new funding model to facilitate this provision.

Music Australia’s successful school music program, Music: Count Us In which is separately funded, is unaffected by this decision and will continue in 2017 and 2018. »

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