24 August 2011

Young people from across the inner north trying to break into the music industry have been dealt a blow by the Baillieu Government, which has slashed funding for a popular FReeZA program, Member for Brunswick, Jane Garrett said today.

Lending her support to the campaign to ‘Save FReeZA’, Jane Garrett 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,” Ms Garrett said.

“Unfortunately the Baillieu Government has turned its back young people in the inner northern suburbs 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.

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.

“FReeZA was introduced by the previous Labor Government to provide drug, alcohol and smoke-free events for young people across Victoria,” Ms Garrett said.

“We recognised that FReeZACentral gave young people vital hands-on experience in the music industry.

“So far Mr Baillieu has failed to back FReeZA and we are concerned these cuts are just the beginning for youth programs.”

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