NSW Labor promises to pay musicians less unfairly

The NSW Labor party has promised a $250 minimum fee for any musicians who perform at publicly funded events.

John Graham, The Shadow Minister for Arts and the Night Time Economy said that currently there was no guarantee for musicians to be paid.

“Musicians are some of the lowest-paid workers in NSW,” said Graham.

“When public funding goes into an event, the public expect that the musicians are paid a reasonable wage.” Bloody oath they do.

NSW opposition leader Chris Minns added that Labor wanted NSW “to be the music centre of the country, and our policy settings should reflect that”.

The promise would see the minimum fee become a condition of all contracts with commercial entities accepting a government grant for a show or event. If implemented, this would bring NSW in line with South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

The initiative is thanks to a push by Musicians Australia, an industry group that has been campaigning for the change since 2021.

This issue has been raised in NSW parliament before, when Graham raised it to the upper house last year.

At the time, Liberal Arts Minister Ben Franklin (presumably taking a break from flying kites in thunderstorms) stated that “the government recognises that live music is one of the sectors most heavily impacted by the pandemic” but did not provide any guarantee of a minimum fee for musicians.

Here’s hoping the increasing support for NSW musicians continues.