Boy oh boy! Looks like Tone Deaf has upset some people! We reported yesterday on the welcome news that Music Victoria had received  – albeit reduced – government funding for their organisation, but also on the disturbing news that funding had been pulled from under the rug of some of the most vital music organisations in Victoria. Anyhow, a lawyer representing Music Victoria, Fair Go 4 Live Music and the SLAM Rally contacted us yesterday to have a sook and demanded a right of reply. We are under no obligation to provide one, however we’re nice guys and moreover mad music fans so in the interest of healthy debate, it’s our pleasure to provide their right of reply verbatim.

However, we do warn you that this right of reply – which had been authorised at our request by all three organisations, including the taxpayer funded Music Victoria, contains inaccuracies and was accompanied by howling errors. As you will see, we are basically accused of representing all three organisations of being politically partisan at the expense of the overall causes that they are supposed to represent.

We make no apologies for offering that as an overall view however no individual organisation is accused of being such. If they do that is the result of their interpretation of the article – there are no direct accusations or names. An inaccuracy in the article was corrected immediately at the request of SLAM an hour after it was published in relation to the petition. Indeed we are amused that we are accused of accusing FG4LM as being politically partisan. There is no mention of that organisation in the article.

Anyhow, there are a whole bunch of inaccuracies and statements of dubious veracity in this right of reply, such as  “Instead of resorting to Fox style accusations, journalistic integrity requires Tone Deaf to speak to the Government and Arts Victoria about this issue and then report the facts.” Um, we reported the facts provided by our friends at Crikey. As they point out, these facts were gleaned verbatim in figures provided in the Victorian budget. We’re really not sure what else to do except post a link to the budget papers to back ourselves up. They’re freely available for anyone to check for themselves.

We don’t have time to correct all the inaccuracies but we’re good to our word and therefore print the Right of Reply below.

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Response to Tone Deaf

SLAM, FG4LM & Music Victoria are somewhat amused by the criticisms emanating from Tone Deaf regarding the Victorian budget.

1. Tone Deaf accuse the three organisations of being politically partisan.  However if this were true Music Victoria would not have received any funding from the Baillieu Liberal Government.    In fact, all three organisations visited and lobbied the Liberals, Greens and the ALP during the liquor licensing/live music issue.   The fact that we primarily dealt with the ALP was because they were in Government at the time.   SLAM and FG4LM have not received any government funding.

2. Petitions and the Greens.  In relation to the petitions, SLAM and FG4LM visited all 3 political parties regarding the delivery of the petitions.   The Greens were the only party that offered not only to accept the petitions but to have them noted in Hansard.  That means that the issue had to be debated in the Parliament which provided an additional opportunity to raise the matter in the Parliament as well as the media.  Instead of accusing SLAM and FG4LM of favouring the Greens, Tone Deaf should check its facts and find out how parliamentary debate works.

3. SLAM, Music Victoria and FG4LM have no relationship with the FreeZA Central program or to Victoria Rocks and have no idea why they were defunded.    It is our understanding that Victoria Rocks is part of Arts Victoria which is a government body established under the previous Labor Government this may have contributed to its defunding.  It is often the case that a new Government abolishes programs under the former Government.  Instead of resorting to Fox style accusations, journalistic integrity requires Tone Deaf to speak to the Government and Arts Victoria about this issue and then report the facts.

4. Music Victoria, SLAM and FG4LM are prepared to work with any Government or political party to further the interests of the live music sector.    Perhaps Tone Deaf can document the actions it took over the two previous years to address the liquour [sic] license/live music issue.