Sony Music Australia is expanding its country music activities through an alliance with Core Music, the new label owned by producer Rod McCormack.

McCormack's production credits include albums with the likes of ARIA winners Troy Cassar-Daley and veteran singer songwriter Paul Kelly, and accomplished country artist Adam Harvey.

Core is purposely set up with four main objectives, McCormack tells Billboard.biz. "We want to nurture new and up-and-coming Australian talent," he explains, "and we will release a series of CDs by well-known artists singing songs that inspired them."

In time, he adds, "we'd like to establish a songwriter branch to it. And [Core] will serve as a general distribution arm for people in the country music industry."

Sony Music's distribution channel will handle Core's slate of releases, the first of which will be Beccy Cole's new album "Preloved" due on Sept. 3, followed by Gina Jeffreys' "Old Paint" on Sept. 17. Another project in the works will feature the emerging talent that is new signing Georgia White.

In a statement, Sony Music Australasia chairman and CEO Denis Handlin professes to his "enormous amount of respect" for McCormack, and says the new association will boost Sony Music's local roster of Australian talent.

A musician, songwriter and co-owner of the "Music Cellar" recording studio in New South Wales, McCormack has a trophy cabinet bulging with industry honors. His production of Harvey's "Workin' Overtime" won the Golden Guitar award in 2002 for album of the year, and last year his work on Cassar-Daley's "I Love This Place" (Liberation Music) took out the 2009 ARIA Award for country album.