ftm14sessionMelbourne music industry conference Face The Music kicked off today at Arts Centre Melbourne with some breaking news.

The Minister for Liquor and Gaming, Hon. Edward O’Donohue took the opportunity during the “Vote For Me!” State Election session to announce the Coalition’s commitment to fund Music Victoria’s $1 million regional music action plan to stimulate the regional touring circuit and provide $400,000 operational funding to the peak body over four years.

Featuring in the session was Fiona Patten (Leader, Australian Sex Party), Hon. Edward O’Donohue (Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation, Liberal Party), Kris Schroeder (Leader, The Basics Rock‘n’Roll Party), Martin Foley MP (Shadow Arts Minister, ALP) and Sue Pennicuik MLC (Australian Greens). The party representatives outlined their support and policies for music in Victoria.

Today’s revelation comes in response to Labor’s earlier announced election commitment of its $22.2 million Music Works contemporary music industry policy, which included additional mentoring, training and grant funding for artists.

Fiona Patten called for some of the State Arts funding to be redistributed from established arts institutions to the grassroots level – “The money’s still going up to the top, it’s not coming to the musicians, let’s move it down to small to medium areas where we can fund musicians at that lower level. Let’s take 1% from the top and take it down to the bottom.”

Kris Schroeder maintains more funding for community radio stations such as strong supporters like 3RRR and PBS is needed, so local music can be heard all through the region.

Sue Pennicuik supports the continuation of a music round table as a conduit between industry and government.

Face The Music Director Peter Chellew commented “With the music industry gathered for it’s annual business and ideas summit, it’s great to see our politicians take the time out just two weeks before the election to attend and make significant election commitments in support of our music community.“

In it’s seventh year Face The Music has become an integral date on the annual music calendar. Highlights so far have seen UK’s Jen Long offer local bands hints on how to get their music played on the BBC, whilst the crew from UNFD talking about the release strategy of In Hearts Wake’s ‘Earthwalker’, which included a tree-planting campaign, a video game, collecting spiders and butterflies and lugging their gear to a waterfall at 2.00am to shoot a clip.

Face The Music is proud to see the contemporary music industry front and centre in this election campaign. Make sure you check out Music Victoria’s State Election Report Card to compare party commitments and make an informed choice on November 29th Election Day – www.musicvictoria.com.au/news/story/10347