The organisers behind SLAM (Save Live Australian Music) have called on the Government to hold a full-scale investigation into the arts funding body, the Australia Council. It has been revealed that the council have awarded over $7.25 million in funding to one classical record label since 2004. Melba Recordings have received $750,000 in 2011 alone, just to release a measly three albums.
Statement from SLAM
The news that reveals the Australian Government’s arts funding body the Australia Council has been funding the boutique record label Melba Recordings to the tune of $7.25 million since 2004 should be cause for concern for every single arts organisation in Australia.
As members of the contemporary music sector, we are outraged that this amount of funding should be provided to a single organisation outside of the peer review process. The sheer size of the initial grant provided to Melba Recordings is equal to the entire budget of the music board of the Australia Council.
We are deeply concerned about how this out-of-round funding came about and call on the Australian Government to do a full investigation into the Australia Council and the role of all the Federal Arts Ministers since 2004.
At a time when technology is threatening the livelihood of musicians and election promises to the contemporary music sector remain undelivered, we call on the Australian Government to redirect this funding to urgent contemporary music programs and support.
After nearly a decade of consultation with the non classical music sector, government policy has delivered almost nothing. $7.25 million dollars could activate an entire sector providing a wealth of opportunities for contemporary musicians, for professional development, marketing and export markets and emerging musicians.