Dear Members and the greater Victorian music industry,

With many of you feeling the pressure at a whole new level, I write to share the work we at Music Victoria are currently doing on your behalf.

It can be quite hard to explain advocacy, but essentially, our job is to listen to you and to pass the collective sentiment of our members on to government, including solutions to the problem of the day.

At this very moment, I am hyper-aware of the implications of lockdown and the 1600 gigs that are lost across the state each and every week that this continues.

I also know that many of you are tired of fighting – for support, for understanding, for recognition. If this is you, please look after yourself first and foremost.

In the meantime, here is what Music Victoria is doing:

  • As soon as we went into lockdown, we were in communication with the relevant Ministers to advocate for the removal of the GST requirement from any Business Support package that was to be offered. Music Victoria had learnt from the February lockdown (and its associated support packages) that this left so many of our industry out.
  • At the same time, we advocated for an expansion of the ANZSIC codes that would be supported through any business support package.
  • We kick-started a members survey to gather data to prove the need for the above points and to capture the scale of impact that any lockdown has on our industry (thanks to those of you who have already contributed – members – check your email for the link so you can add your voice, as the fight is not over yet)
  • We presented preliminary findings from the above survey to the Victorian Government (including multiple Ministers) highlighting the gaps in the Business Support Package that has been provided to date.
  • We have provided data and research to the state government highlighting that the reason why many in our industry are NOT registered for GST is simply that we don’t earn enough (another problem that is on our radar).
  • We are currently in discussions with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to provide evidence and advice on how the $20 million events support package should work and what is included – specifically calling for them to address the gaps we highlighted back at the start eg. the GST registration requirement, and even further ANZSIC code extensions, and just the massive scale of the impact on our industry – which was already struggling after a horrid 2020.
  • More than 200 of Melbourne’s leading figures in the arts, entertainment and hospitality including Music Victoria have signed an open letter pleading with the Chief Health Officer and government to ease venue restrictions as quickly as possible in the wake of the “circuit breaker” lockdown.

Prior to this we had been working tirelessly to remove the capacity restrictions and were finally seeing some wins – which we will be picking right back up again, as soon as this most immediate challenge is done.

We certainly won’t always win, but we will keep working and fighting for the Victorian music industry.

Finally, if you think we have missed something – please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to represent you!

Warmly,

Simone Schinkel
CEO