Industry sings out for national music body

·2-min read

Australian music groups are calling on the federal government to set up a national agency to develop the industry.

In a joint submission to the government's national cultural policy, 18 music industry groups asked for an agency to deal with skills development, exports, local content incentives, insurance and intellectual property.

Dean Ormston runs an organisation called APRA AMCOS that helps songwriters, composers and publishers navigate royalties.

He is among those calling for a national body.

"We say there's an enormous opportunity for our industry and it's past time there was a substantive investment in its sustainability and its potential," Mr Ormston told AAP.

The agency would also invest in First Nations music and work by young musicians, according to the coalition which includes ARIA, Live Performance Australia and APRA AMCOS.

While some performers achieve international fame, for most it's a tough gig, Mr Ormston said.

"If you look at the average salary of people who work in the music industry it is amongst the lowest, it's a very tough industry to be in."

While the film industry benefits from tax breaks and structured government support, the music industry only sees piecemeal funding, Mr Ormston said.

Performers were hit especially hard by COVID, with live music all but shut down across much of the country for two years.

Mr Ormston also wants to see a tax offset for live music venues to help the performance industry recover.

Earlier in September, a large-scale independent review concluded harassment, sexualised harm and bullying are rife in the Australian music industry.

More than half those working in the music trade have experienced sexual harassment or harm at work, according to the Raising Their Voices report.

The government's national cultural policy, which will determine long term funding priorities for the arts sector, is due by the end of the year.