Music fans are rallying against the Turnbull Government’s plan to hike up Entertainment Visa processing fees by up to 600 per cent, after concerns were raised about how the changes might affect the ability of international acts to tour Australia.
Industry body Live Performance Australia (LPA) has already pledged to fight the move, arguing that the jacked-up fees will deter some acts from touring Australia or coming to play festivals here.
After news broke last week of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s intentions — which LPA call a “massive money grab” — a Change.org petition was launched to protest his plan, and it’s already received over 6,100 signatures at the time of writing.
The petition, titled ‘Keep The Entertainment Industry Alive’, was created by Sydneysider Sophie Brown, who tells Music Feeds she thinks it’s an important issue for all Aussies to get behind.
“This is a change that will have a detrimental affect on Australia’s economy and in particular the Australian Music Industry as a whole, affecting the artists, general public in regards to ticket prices and also a multitude of jobs within every sector of the industry, even including tourism and hospitality,” Brown says.
“The high costs associated with acts coming to Australia are already extremely high, so adding on another enormous price rise just doesn’t seem logical.
“I would be extremely interested to hear Minister Dutton’s justification and logic behind this increase of 600 per cent, and how he believes this could be beneficial to the Australian public in anyway.
“Politicians need to be held accountable for the decisions and policy changes they regularly make without any consultation with the public, who granted them their position in the first place.”
Brown says she’s “incredibly proud” of the response she’s received from the petition so far. “I didn’t expect it to get even close to the amount of views, signatures and comments that it so far has, even from people in other countries all around the world,” she says.
While it appears that early supporters of the petition have included Britney Spears and Delta Goodrem, Music Feeds can confirm Goodrem’s supposed comment of support on the petition (below) isn’t actually legit. Spears’ management are yet to confirm or deny her support, although it also seems likely that her comment isn’t legit either:
UPDATE 19/10/16: Music Feeds can confirm the ‘Britney Spears’ comment also isn’t legit.
The Australian Government’s changes to Visa processing fees are set to come into effect from 19th November. If you want to try to stop that from happening, you can sign Brown’s Change.org petition right here.
On a related note, you can watch Queensland Senator Murray Watt discuss his opposition to the Government’s planned Visa changes while name-dropping the likes of Childish Gambino, London Grammar and Falls Festival during a recent Senate sitting, below.
Watch: Queensland Senator Murray Watt Slams Visa Changes In The Senate
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) October 17, 2016