Posted on 22. Aug, 2011 in News

Young Victorians wanting to get a kick start into the music industry have been dealt a blow by the Baillieu Government, which has slashed funding for a popular FReeZA program, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Launching a campaign to ‘Save FReeZA’, Mr Andrews said the Premier had chosen to cut funding for FreeZACentral, highlighting the Government’s failure to support Victorian youth.

“FReeZACentral is an important program that provides young Victorians support to break into the music industry,” Mr Andrews said.

“Unfortunately the Baillieu Government has turned its back on Victorian youth by choosing to cut funding for the successful FReeZACentral music industry training and mentoring program.”

“The Premier needs to explain why his Government doesn’t support skills development for young people.”

FReeZACentral provides young people access to accredited training workshops, one-on-one mentoring with industry professionals and participation in live music management and CD recording and production.

Participants in the mentoring program are matched with key figures in the music industry, including artists, producers, event managers, and staff from music festivals and record labels.

FReeZA provides drug, alcohol and smoke-free events for young people across Victoria.

Recently, the Baillieu Government released a report, commissioned by Labor, revealing live music contributed $501 million to the Victorian economy and provided jobs for 17,200 people.

Mr Andrews said Labor had started FReeZACentral to give young people vital hands-on experience in the music industry.

“We understood the importance of this program and that’s why it’s so concerning that Mr Baillieu has made this funding cut,” he said.

“Victorians will now be questioning whether he will continue funding other FReeZA programs, which more than 140,000 young people take part in every year.

“So far he’s failed to back FReeZA and we are concerned these cuts are just the beginning for youth programs.”


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