Labor Pledges $500,000 for a Music Hub at Footscray Community Arts Centre

Shadow Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, today announced a Shorten Labor Government will commit $500,000 for a Music Hub at Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC).

As part of Labor’s Soundtrack Australia Music Policy, Labor is pledging significant investment in a dedicated music industry development space at FCAC.

Melbourne is touted as the live music capital of Australia. While Melbourne’s inner west is a recognised arts and cultural centre for the city, there is a lack of affordable and accessible music development spaces available to emerging, established and community musicians.

L to R: Peter Tolhurst, FCAC CEO/Artistic Director Martin Maten, Tim Watts MP, FCAC General Manager Robyn Gawenda, Tony Burke MP, Robyn Waters, Andrew Pagenella, Stuart Flenley and Victoria Cini.

The policy will establish FCAC as a key location for live music development and performance, which includes our new flagship live music platform HEAR FOOTSCRAY.

The investment will support the development of two accessible rehearsal studios and a professional sound recording studio in FCAC’s iconic Henderson House building. The facilities will be available to emerging, established and community musicians –enabling more musicians and performers to access professional, high-quality music development spaces at little cost. The new spaces will also be wheelchair accessible, so that people of all abilities can make and enjoy music.

The Hackkets singer/keys player Victoria Cini.
The Hackkets singer/keys player Victoria Cini.

Labor Member for Gellibrand, Tim Watts, said, ‘Labor’s Music Hub investment will make music accessible to more people in Melbourne’s west. By supporting an important venue like FCAC, the Music Hub will become a high-quality place to develop, practice and record music that is accessible to emerging artists, regardless of their financial circumstances.’

Tony Burke said,‘The commitment we have announced today is aimed at boosting every aspect of Australian music. We want Australian music to be heard, Australian artists to stay in the industry and the next generation to be inspired.’ 

‘We believe in what our songwriters, musicians, performers and music industry do. We think it matters. Our Australian soundtrack matters. Let’s turn up the volume.’

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The Hackkets drummer Andrew Pagenella.

In addition to investing in an initial five music hubs around country, Labor’s Soundtrack Australia Music Policy includes a comprehensive range of strategies to support the music industry, including:

  • Investing in live music, music exports and youth music programs.
  • Cracking down on ticket scalping, and ensuring Australian music fans have fair access to tickets.
  • Supporting mental health programs that help artists and crew.
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The Hackkets performing live at Labor’s Federal Soundtrack Australia Music Policy announcement.

The Music Hub investment at FCAC will help increase participation and diversity in music so the music industry continues to thrive in Melbourne’s west.