Some of the most prominent names in the music industry have hit out at the ABC over the decision to scrap its music-focused Radio National programs The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set, The Rhythm Divine and Jazztrack.

In an open letter to the ABC board and managing director Michelle Guthrie, a host of industry figures and artists have criticised the budget cuts that have undermined a crucial avenue for Australian music airplay nationwide.

The Hands Off Radio National Music Campaign, with supporters like Megan Washington, Bernard Fanning, Spiderbait, Don Walker, James Morrison, Missy Higgins, Sarah Blasko, Woodford Folk Festival and more, wrote:

“As musicians and music industry professionals, we are appalled by the decision taken by ABC management to scrap The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set and The Rhythm Divine, and to remove Jazztrack from Radio National. This decision was taken without proper industry and public consultation and must be reconsidered and reversed.

“The cuts deliver a fundamental blow to diverse, vibrant and independent sectors of the Australian music industry, which receive minimal national radio coverage elsewhere.

“These programs are among the remaining windows for Australian artists to tell their stories about Australian life, for people to hear and learn from those stories and for all Australians to hear the songs and stories of other cultures from around the world.

“Further, they support and underpin a music sector that, according to Music Australia, contributes between $4 and $6 billion to the Australian economy annually and which generates close to 65,000 jobs, over half of which are full-time.

“They are essential listening for those working in this vibrant industry and should not be discarded on the grounds of ratings.”

The letter calls for the ABC to reconsider the decision and consider thousands of comments on an online petition, also called ‘Hands Off Radio National Music’.