THE election pledges are coming thick and fast with Labor committing to a $1 million music hub at the Fremantle Arts Centre if it wins the May 18 federal election.
Shadow arts minister Tony Burke broke the news while attending an event at the centre on Monday (April 15).
The proposed hub would provide a state-of-the-art practice and recording space for young and emerging artists, as well as funding for tuition that will hook up artists with established Australian songwriters and producers.
“Fremantle is known around the world as a great place for enjoying and supporting live music,” Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said.
“Not only do we have legendary venues like Mojos and now Freo.Social in the Old Drill Hall, we’re also famous for nurturing great talent, from rock legend Bon Scott to John Butler, Eskimo Joe, San Cisco and Tame Impala.
“Fremantle Arts Centre already has a live music program that runs alongside its exhibition and visual art residency program.
“The addition of a Music Hub would allow us to actively nurture the talent that drives the live music industry–a sector that annually contributes almost $6 billion to the Australian economy.”
The FAC hosts the hugely popular free Sunday Courtyard Music series over summer, and some of the biggest names in Australian music play concerts on the centre’s south lawn, including Midnight Oil, Nick Cave and Paul Kelly.
Meanwhile, federal Fremantle Labor MP Josh Wilson kicked off his election campaign last Sunday April 14 at Little Creatures.
Speakers included shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese and Labor state Fremantle MP Simone McGurke, who both issued rallying cries to the party faithful.
Mr Wilson said a Shorten government would spend $115 million on a new traffic bridge in Fremantle and $5m on an urgent care clinic at Fremantle hospital.
Mr Wilson described the election as “make-or-break”.
“The next 34 days are going to make a difference in Fremantle, the rest of Western Australia, and nationally…” he said. “There is nothing that guarantees a change of government in this country other than the effort, the persuasive input, the hard work, the door knocking, people in this room and people in Labor campaigns around the country.”
Mr Wilson and Mr Albanese reeled off a list of Labor pledges including funding for TAFEs, hospitals and public transport.
Mr Wilson came under political fire this week when it was revealed he had criticised Israeli security forces and Australia’s own Jewish lobby at Labor Party events in recent months, shortly after Curtin candidate Melissa Parke quit over similar anti-Israel comments.
The media spotlight prompted Labor leader Bill Shorten to tell the press that Mr Wilson had “reconfirmed” his support for the Labor Party’s two-state solution.
by KAVI GUPPTA
and STEPHEN POLLOCK