2010 Advocacy
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Wednesday, 15 December 2010 17:53

Spectrum Reallocation in the 700MHz Digital Dividend Band

Submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority

Prepared by Lynn Gailey,
December 13, 2010

The Music Council is concerned that the forthcoming spectrum reallocation deliver the most efficient digital dividend possible, a dividend that serves the needs of all Australians both by ensuring continued access to high quality free-to-air digital services and by maximizing the extent to which new services can be made available to Australians, including new services offered by new entrants.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 12:27
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Thursday, 09 December 2010 17:28

The Arts Shape Paper for the National Curriculum

Submission to the Australian Curriculum, Reporting and Assessment Authority (ACARA)

Prepared by Richard Letts, with submissions from the field
December 9, 2010

ACARA has the responsibility for the preparation of the National Curriculum. It does so in a staged process with frequent consultation with the field. It is now embarked on the preparation of curricula for dance, drama, media, music and visual arts and has prepared a “Shape Paper”, setting out general guidelines for curriculum writers in the five art forms. It has published a draft and invited comment. The comments will be used to modify the Shape Paper prior to its presentation in 2011 to the curriculum writers.

The MCA response has been developed over a period of about ten weeks. Input was invited from Council members and many others who have established connections with the Music Council and it has been incorporated into the MCA submission.

The ACARA Shape Paper is available on their website.

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 January 2011 18:56
 
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Tuesday, 30 November 2010 17:51

Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement-Nov 2010

Submission to the Trade Commitments Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Prepared by Lynn Gailey
November 30, 2010

The Music Council argues against the inclusion of investor-state dispute mechanisms in Australia’s international trade agreements generally and in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, currently being negotiated, in particular. The USA is an aggressive promoter of these provisions and is a party to the negotiations for this Agreement. They allow private entities to challenge governments on their performance in the terms of such agreements. There have been extraordinary outcomes where, for instance, a government has been prevented from regulating an environmentally toxic industry despite the dangers to its people. A US entertainment company might, for instance, challenge the Australian government over its regulation to support Australian content in the digital realm, were the government to attempt to do so.

Read the Submission

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:20
 
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Tuesday, 30 November 2010 17:20

Review of Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements-Sept 2010

Submission to the Trade Commitments Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Prepared by Lynn Gailey
November 30, 2010

The Music Council argues against the inclusion of investor-state dispute mechanisms in Australia’s international trade agreements generally and in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, currently being negotiated, in particular. The USA is an aggressive promoter of these provisions and is a party to the negotiations for this Agreement. They allow private entities to challenge governments on their performance in the terms of such agreements. There have been extraordinary outcomes where, for instance, a government has been prevented from regulating an environmentally toxic industry despite the dangers to its people. A US entertainment company might, for instance, challenge the Australian government over its regulation to support Australian content in the digital realm, were the government to attempt to do so.

Read the Submission

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 22:08
 
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Saturday, 11 September 2010 11:00

Review of Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements-Sept 2010

Submission to the Productivity Commission

Prepared by Lynn Gailey
September 11, 2010

The Productivity Commission released its draft report on Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements in July. The Productivity Commission found that although there can be benefits for Australia, the evidence thus far is not convincing. It also argues that the government should adopt a cautious approach to exclusions for audiovisual and cultural industries.The Music Council has responded calling for a complete reinstatement of, and re-commitment to, the bipartisan support for exclusions for cultural industries in all free trade agreements, a policy in place since the early 1950s, and only relaxed in negotiations for the free trade agreement with the United States.

Read the Submission

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:08
 
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Thursday, 06 May 2010 11:00

2010 Review of the Australian Independent Screen Production Sector

Submission to the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Prepared by Lynn Gailey
May 6, 2010

With the possible exception of India, there are no screen industries in the world that do not receive government subsidy. Even the industry in the USA now receives subsidy from American states and foreign countries. Australian screen subsidies must be sufficient to support a sustainable industry.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:10
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Friday, 19 March 2010 11:00

Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement

Letter to the Minister for Trade

Prepared by Richard Letts
March 19, 2010

The Minister was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald of March 16 as saying, concerning the negotiation of this agreement: “We approached this on the basis that everything is on the table. No exclusions…” The meaning of this statement is that domestic regulations cannot impose on products and services of a partner country anything not imposed on domestic producers, in the context of international trade. Or course, all agreements have lists of “exclusions” from these provisions. The position of the MCA and the cultural sector generally, here and abroad, is that cultural activity in its entirety should be excluded from the outset. The Minister’s statement is thus of great concern. The letter explains, briefly, why.

Read the letter

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:11
 
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Friday, 19 March 2010 11:00

Alterations to Code 4 (Australian Music Content) of the Australian Broadcasting Standard

Submission to Commercial Radio Australia

Prepared by Richard Letts
March 19, 2010

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) is the “self-regulator” for this Code which imposes the obligation on commercial free-to-air radio broadcasters to devote a percentage of the time given to broadcasting music to Australian music. CRA is obliged by the government to review the operation of the Code every three years and report its own proposals and public responses to them to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which decides on what changes to accept.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 January 2011 16:50
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Friday, 05 March 2010 11:00

Review of Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements

Submission to the Productivity Commission

Prepared by Lynn Gailey and Richard Letts
March 5, 2010

The submission lays out the basic argument from the cultural sector for the exclusion of culture from free trade agreements. It agrees with Minister Sherry that greater benefit is to be gained from multilateral agreements than from bilateral and regional agreements, given that in negotiation of bilateral agreements Australia can find itself a very unequal negotiating partner with nations the size of the USA or China.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 00:18
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Friday, 05 March 2010 11:00

Review of Regulatory Burdens on Business

Submission to the Productivity Commission

Prepared by Lynn Gailey and Richard Letts
March 5, 2010

This review is focused on identifying specific areas of Australian Government regulation that are unnecessarily burdensome, complex or redundant or duplicate regulations or the role of regulatory bodies including those in other jurisdictions.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 00:16
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Monday, 01 March 2010 11:00

Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Occupational Health and Safety

Submission to the Productivity Commission

Prepared by Lynn Gailey
March 1, 2010

The Research Report notes that in 2010, entities operating in multiple jurisdictions can contend with up to “3392 pages of regulation – 1068 from primary legislation and 2324 from formal regulations – and face 282 codes of practice at the state and territory level."

Such complexity invites non-compliance with legislation and regulations that are crucial to the welfare and interests of both employers and employees. The MCA submission observes that the problem is especially acute for music entities which are usually of small to medium size, with limited resources to apply to understanding and compliance, and may be involved in rapid touring across jurisdictions with as little as one day spent in a particular state or territory.

Read the submission

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 22:05
 
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Friday, 26 February 2010 11:00

Digital Dividend Green Paper

Submission to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Prepared by Lynn Gailey with contributions from Ian Harvey and Richard Letts
February 26, 2010

The Music Council agrees with the Minister who, in his foreword to the Green Paper, says that while [s]pectrum is valuable to potential purchasers … of far greater benefit are the opportunities it can offer to all Australians by providing new services for individuals and businesses. The Music Council welcomes the Minister’s commitment that:

… there is no ‘either/or’ approach in terms of free-to-air digital television and the digital dividend. The Government is committed to ensuring that the high quality free-to-air digital services that Australians enjoy will continue to be provided.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 00:11
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Sunday, 21 February 2010 11:00

Commercial Free to Air Licence Fee Rebates and Local Content

Letter to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Prepared by an alliance of ACS, ADG, AGSC, ASEG, AWG, MEAA, MCA, SPAA
February 21, 2010

The letter raises concerns about a rebate on television broadcasters’ licence fee “to protect Australian content on commercial television” at a time when local content is being shut out of digital free to air television and the Department is reviewing the application of local content standards on the multichannels. Information and discussion is sought.

Read the submission

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 December 2010 22:28
 
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Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:00

Content and Access: The future of program standards and captioning requirements on digital multi-channels

Submission to Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Prepared by an alliance of film industry organisations and the Music Council
February 18, 2010

The submission calls for local content rules to be placed upon free to air digital television multichannels. It notes that the broadcasters, not now subject to local content requirements, present very minimal levels of Australian content. In return for access to public spectrum, and the recent licence fee rebate, it is reasonable to impose local content obligations upon them.

Read the submission

Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 00:13
 
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Friday, 12 February 2010 11:00

Bringing Aussie Musicians Centre Stage

Submission to the Minister for the Arts, Hon Peter Garrett MP

Prepared by Lynn Gailey and Richard Letts
February 12, 2010

The Minister proposed during the last election campaign to introduce new regulations requiring foreign musical acts to include an Australian support act with the purpose of creating more employment and higher profile for Australian musicians. The regulations probably have specially in mind the large scale arena presentations and festivals but also would cover smaller events.

The Minister is now moving to implement his proposal and to that end, issued a discussion paper and invited submissions to discuss the issues it raises. The Music Council supports the intention of the regulations. This submission deals with some of the details especially those raised in the discussion paper.

Read the submission

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 December 2010 22:33
 
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Monday, 18 January 2010 11:00

The Development of a National Cultural Policy

Submission to the Minister for the Arts

Richard Letts
January 18, 2010

The Minister for the Arts, Peter Garrett, issued an open invitation for submissions to assist in the development of a national cultural policy. This is the MCA’s response.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 00:04
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Sunday, 10 January 2010 11:00

Content and Access: The Future of Program Standards and Captioning Requirements on Digital Television Multi-channels

Submission on discussion paper

Prepared by Lynn Gailey
January 10, 2010

The Music Council of Australia's submission in response to the Discussion Paper Content and access: The future of program standards and captioning requirements on digital television multi-channels released by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in December 2009.

The Music Council considers that the advent of digital broadcasting affords Australia a once in a lifetime opportunity. Scarce spectrum can now be utilised to offer enhanced program choice for audiences. This choice must include increased opportunities to access Australian programs, as well as greater competition in the market. These opportunities should not be wasted...

Read the submission

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 22:22
 
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Sunday, 10 January 2010 11:00

Letter to Minister re Regulations that are Harming Live Venues in Melbourne

Richard Letts
January 20, 2010

Regulations introduced for purposes of controlling crowds and violence in licensed venues in Melbourne are causing the closure of music programs in premises which have no record of such problems. The letter requests the Minister to review the regulations and target them more carefully.

To read the letter

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 December 2010 22:33