On 15 August 2018, the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, referred an inquiry into the Australian music industry to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts.
The terms of reference asked the committee to inquire into and report on ‘factors contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian music industry’.
The factors that influence the growth and sustainability of the music industry are many and varied. The inquiry’s broad terms of reference allowed participants to draw attention to whichever factors and conditions they felt were most important to supporting the industry, without being limited by more specific terms of reference.
Many participants emphasised the important cultural and social value of music. Music brings people and communities together. It is a universal medium, though which people share their stories, beliefs, and dreams. Music has been shown to have significant positive impacts on mental health, social cohesion, education, and quality of life.
Music’s social and cultural value is unquestionable and cannot be overstated. However, this report will primarily focus on the music industry itself. It will consider the regulatory and economic factors that influence the industry and consider how best to support the growth and sustainability of the industry as a whole.