Australia’s music community has come together in a rare show of unity to forge its long-term vision as the government kick-starts its own inquiry into the industry.

Last week, the major music trade associations met to walk through common themes for its submissions to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts, which is exploring the industry and how it can thrive in a digital age.

Reps from ARIA, APRA AMCOS, AAM, AIR, AMPAL and PPCA were at the roundtable and ARIA filed its submission last Friday, TIO can confirm. AAM got in early, finalising its submission with the inquiry on Sept. 21. LPA presented its evidence in recent days, sources say.

The ARIA document floats the idea that the music industry and Government work towards an ambitious goal of boosting Australia’s standing on the world stage. By 2030, the paperwork suggests, the local market could target a 5% share of the global music market, up from the current figure of roughly 1%.

Australian Music Week
Australian Music Week

Following discussions with its members, ARIA says it set out a handful of suggestions to the committee help reach this goal, which include creators’ rights; investment; export; local content; music cities and live music; and music education.

“Today the Australian recording industry is a digital growth industry. After a long period of challenge and disruption, the music business has evolved to embrace the growing online and global marketplace,” reads a line from the Executive Summary that accompanied ARIA’s submission.

TIO understands APRA and AMPAL will make their own submissions in the days ahead.

The development comes after Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts, on Aug. 15 asked the Committee to inquire into and report on factors contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian music industry.

Mitch Fifield
Mitch Fifield

There remain “significant challenges” for the industry to overcome in order for Australian artists, labels and the local industry to break through in this globalised business, ARIA continues. “Our local performers and songwriters play an important role in reflecting and recording our cultural identity – telling our stories from our own unique perspective – and increasingly are taking these songs to the world.”

With the plan now hatched, it becomes a waiting game to see when the Committee will publish its final report and when or how any of the industry’s proposals are formalised. It’s hoped the government will also commit to further face-to-face meetings with the industry.

Ahead of the parliamentary inquiry, APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston called for the industry to present a united front. “It’s an opportunity for us as an industry to set our sights high and to come together collegiately and collaboratively and look at what are the key elements that we see as taking our industry forward,” he told an invite-only gathering during the Bigsound summit. “If we’re going to get government excited about working with us, it’s important that we’re on-message and we know what’s important, whether that’s export, live music or education. One of the key messages we want to take to government is, we’re not a one portfolio horse, we cross all government portfolios. There’s a relevance to our industry for all portfolios. The conversation amongst all of us over the next couple of weeks will be really important in terms of bringing our various views and opinions together and articulating clear strategy to government.”

The Committee will probe the potential for continued growth and the factors affecting the success of Australia’s music biz, both at home and away. When the inquiry was announced, the chair, Luke Howarth MP, said the music industry “must be dynamic to adapt to the rapidly evolving ways we access and listen to music. As a Committee, we believe that Australian music can be more competitive and we will be investigating ways the Australian music industry can continue to grow sustainably.”