Denis Handlin, chairman/CEO of Sony BMG Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, was yesterday (Feb. 24) voted in as chairman of the Australia Record Industry Assn. for a record seventh consecutive ti

Denis Handlin, chairman/CEO of Sony BMG Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, was yesterday (Feb. 24) voted in as chairman of the Australia Record Industry Assn. for a record seventh consecutive time.

Also on the 2005 board are John O'Donnell, managing director of EMI Music Australia; Philip Mortlock MD of Origin Recordings; Michael Parisi, MD of Festival Mushroom Records; Ed St. John, president/CEO of Warner Music Australasia; George Ash, MD of Universal Music Australia; David Vodicka, MD of Rubber Records and Charles Caldas, CEO of Shock Records. All tenures are for 12 months.

"The board now, more than ever, provides a formidable mix of experience and knowledge that will continue to foster growth and offer direction for the local recording industry," comments Handlin.

ARIA's program this year includes the launch of a digital download chart, the expansion of sponsorship and promotional opportunities for its weekly charts, and the mid-year staging of an inaugural ARIA Hall Of Fame.

The trade body is currently lobbying to remove the 1% artificial cap on broadcast licence fees, which was set in 1969 by the Australian government of the time. Under the cap, the radio sector does not have to pay more than 1% of its gross revenues for use of music. The current rate of 0.04%, based on an average of gross revenues by metropolitan and regional radio stations, yields ARIA A$2.7 million ($2.16 million) each year.

ARIA has not offered an alternative rate of payment, but points out that the rate in Europe is 2-4% of stations' gross income.