A week hasn’t passed since Paul Fletcher MP was appointed as the new Minister for the Arts, but APRA AMCOS and its CEO Dean Ormston are hunkering down to business with some confidence the politician brings to the job an “incredible understanding” of the industry’s many, complex issues.

Fletcher was announced last Sunday as the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, in the re-elected Morrison Government, and was sworn in on Wednesday.

In a statement to TIO, Ormston welcomed the minister who, he points out, is no stranger to the work of the rights society or the music industry, having been both the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications and Chief of Staff to Minister for Communications Richard Alston in the Howard Government.

“This gives Minister Fletcher an incredible understanding of the work of our 100,000 songwriter and publisher members and the importance of a robust copyright framework for creators,” Ormston notes.

The minister will also have a key responsibility implementing the Coalition’s Australian Music Industry Package, which makes inroads for the sustainability of live music, music exports, women in music and Indigenous musicians and tackles some of the concerns raised in the House Standing Committee music inquiry.

Paul Fletcher

Referencing a 2017 Goldman Sachs report which estimated the global recorded music market would hit US$41 billion by 2030, a sum that could balloon to $100 billion when publishing revenue and live music is factored in, Ormston acknowledged Australia had the capacity to earn up to 5% of that market, with “significant” government and industry partnership.

With its deep pool of talent and growing international appetite for Australian music, Australia “has the potential to go from a music nation to a music powerhouse,” says Ormston.

“This is not only achievable in the next term of parliament, but represents an enormous opportunity for our industry to work even closer with the Morrison Government including the re-appointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham and Education Minister Dan Tehan,” Ormston explains.

Earlier in the week, leaders from the creative sector, live industry and commercial radio welcomed Fletcher, the former Minister for Families and Social Services who has held a senior executive role at Optus, established a consulting firm serving the communications sector and has written a book about broadband.

Among the key challenges for the industry going forward, notes Ormston, is music education and Australian music content requirements for radio and digital platforms.