In an accompanying letter addressed to Liberal Party representative Paul Fletcher, who covers Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Higgins, Chambers, and several other prominent Australian female music artists explain their stance.
“We the undersigned are prominent singer/songwriters who are currently touring together as part of a successful new all-female Australian music festival called “Wildflower”,” the letter begins. “We write to you on International Women’s Day to seek your public support of a modest initiative which we believe would benefit all Australians, but particularly Australian women.
While our live performances together attract crowds of 5,000-10,000 people per night, none of these fans can hear our new music on local FM stations. In the United Kingdom, BBC Radio 2 continues to play artists like ourselves. In the United States there are dozens of so called “AAA” and “Non-Comm” stations that allow fans to discover new releases from established artists.
Thankfully, some older male musicians can still have their latest songs heard around Australia on the Triple M network but, sadly, there is no local FM equivalent for women.”
The letter then calls for the Coalition and Australian Labor Party to find extra funding to allow Double J to begin broadcasting on FM. “At the moment this fantastic digital-only channel plays a lot of new music by female (and non female) artists over the age of 30 but its reach is severely limited,” the letter adds.
“Some of us can fortunately still be heard on triple j and community stations. The rest of us benefitted hugely from FM radio exposure in our 20’s and 30’s and the hits we had in those years continue to receive recurrent airplay for which we are sincerely grateful.
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However, like our male counterparts, we continue to release new music of which we are proud and we believe that our fans deserve an equal opportunity to hear it on the radio. The expansion of Double J would be a relatively simple solution to this current inequity for artists and fans alike. To that end we have launched this petition are inviting people to sign it to show their support for this idea.”
You can read the full letter and sign the petition here. At the time of writing, it’s gained 1,462 signatures, just a few hundred short of its goal of 1,500.