How The Budget Will Affect Australian Music

It’s not just students, young people, pensioners, and the unemployed who’ll be feeling the pinch of the newly issued federal budget. According to a new report from ABC News, musicians, artists, and filmmakers will be among those affected by the many funding cuts outlined by Tuesday’s budget.

The Abbott government are set to cut a total of $87.1 million from the federal arts funding bodies over the next four years, meaning “fewer and smaller” grants will be offered to those involved in the arts world, including up-and-coming musicians, Australia Council CEO Tony Grybowski tells ABC.

“It’s a lot and we will be looking at all our programs,” Mr Grybowski says of the cuts, which include losing over $10 million from the Council’s $222 million annual budget — spent on touring and recording opportunities for artists — this year, with more $6.4-million cuts over the next three years.

As Tone Deaf reports, the grants are not merely money going down a sinkhole. Last April, the Australia Council funded 11 indie record labels as part of their Recording Initiative grant, and government arts funding has given artists like Vance Joy, The Drones, Mia Dyson, Kirin J Callinan, Cub Sport, Sampology, Dustin Tebbutt, sleepmakeswaves, Duo Deng, much needed exposure.

Despite recommendations from the Commission Of Audit — which also recommended the abolition of crucial funding to community broadcasting programs — the Australian Council will not merge with Screen Australia, who are themselves currently facing a cut of $25.1 million from their budget.

Community broadcasting was one of the few arts sectors spared in the budget, with Community Broadcasting Association of Australia President Adrian Basso calling it “a fantastic outcome for community radio and TV stations across the country” in a statement on the group’s website.

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