triple j is banging the drum once more.

The state-funded youth broadcaster is rallying its followers to have their say in the federal parliamentary inquiry on the arts, which is taking public submissions until Sept. 21.

The inquiry was set up to explore the health and future of the creative sector in these parts, and music fans and consumers are invited to join the discussion.

The arts is a big business Down Under

It generates some $12.6 billion to the economy in 2016-17, a rise of roughly 50 per cent in a decade, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Canberra reportedly spent just $1.75 billion on the arts in 2012-13, a figure that boils down to less than $77 per person. It’s a paltry sum compared with Norway’s expenditure. And it’s apparently decreasing year-on-year.

Around 206,000 Australians were employed in the arts and recreation sector in 2016-17, an increase of 2,000 jobs from the previous financial year. The related media industries added another 171,000 jobs, up slightly from the year prior.

According to a separate report, Making Art Work, written by David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya, Australia is home to 48,000 professional artists, with musicians accounting for more than 15,400 of the total.

triple j is in a unique position to speak directly to young Australians and amplify their message to the country’s decision makers. The network reached out to Liberal MP Luke Howarth, federal member for Petrie, who told Hack, “To hear from musicians and record labels, investors, music companies – anyone who’s involved in the Australian music industry, we’d love to hear from them about how it can be improved or get better growth and more sales overseas.”

Howarth, who is chair of the committee, talked about the win-win of exports and noted, with the music industry returning to growth off the back of streaming, “we just want to see them go from strength to strength.”

With the inquiry on the near horizon, APRA AMCOS’ Dean Ormston used a breakfast meeting at Bigsound last week to call on the music business 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 said.

“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.”

For more details on making a submission, click here.