Photo: Jordan Munns / Supplied

Labor Promises To Fight Ticket Scalpers, Pledges $28 Million For Australian Music

Federal Labor has included a promise to fight ticket scalpers in its just-announced $28 million pledge for Australia’s music industry.

The funds will go towards music programs and education over three years, if the opposition party is elected in the 2019 federal election.

Labor plans to discourage ticket scalpers by banning the use of ticket-buying ‘bot’ software and capping ticket resale prices at a national level.

Labor has also promised to double the funding for the New Recordings program, which will help 20 Australian artists record an EP, up from 10. The program has previously supported the likes of Courtney Barnett and Alex The Astronaut.

Labor’s policy also includes $10 million for Sounds Australia, $7 million for music education programs (including SongMakers and Song Room), $5 million for community music hubs and $4.2 million for music industry mental health charities Nordoff Robbins and Support Act.

“The policies we are announcing today are aimed at boosting every aspect of Australian music. We want Australian music to be heard, Australian artists to stay in the industry and the next generation to be inspired,” Labor said in a statement.

“We believe in what our songwriters, musicians, performers and music industry do. We think it matters. Our Australian soundtrack matters. Let’s turn up the volume.”

Labor’s announcement comes after the launch of a renewed campaign to banish controversial Swiss-based ticket resale site Viagogo from Australia.

The campaign, led by Lunatic Entertainment, has received support from the likes of Gang Of Youths, Laneway Festival and Tash Sultana.

Viagogo last year won an award for being “as reliable as a scalper in a back alley”, and is often used by scalpers to sell overpriced tickets, while charging exorbitant fees in the process.

The company has previously been taken to court by The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), after it received more than 400 complaints about the organisation in one year.

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