Australia's New South Wales government has committed $500,000 Australian ($440,000) over three years to stage Song Summit Sydney.

The summit will consist of a conference, retail exhibition and showcase primarily for songwriters, composers and publishers. The event will be organised by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), with the inaugural edition held April 3-5 2008, at the city's Moore Park. Organisers anticipate over 800 delegates.

At the July 20 launch, NSW premier Morris Iemma said: "Sydney is the home of the Australian music industry and the NSW government's innovation strategy has recognised our strength in the creative arts and entertainment industries as one where New South Wales enjoys a strong competitive advantage."

He added: ''This major new annual event will be the only one of its kind in Australia and the Asia Pacific."

Conference topics will cover the art of songwriting, new technologies, copyright, publishing, music licensing and international perspectives.
Organisers say the retail exhibition will feature representatives from international and national music organisations, music retailers, distributors, merchandisers, manufacturers, venue owners, recording studios, music education institutions, technology companies, record companies and music publishers.

Singer/songwriter and APRA board member Jenny Morris said: "Today, the value of the Australian music sector is estimated at around $7 billion Australian ($6.16 billion). It is a significant contributor to Australia's GDP. It is time for our music creators to have an event that will nurture and give momentum to their growth; that will recognise the value of their work and invest in it for the future."