Pipe Bands Australia has made a submission to the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement inquiry into the trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, calling for antique musical instruments to be excluded from any proposals to further limit movement of ivory in Australia and internationally.
In the submission prepared by Principal Piping Brett Tidswell and President Chris Earl, Pipe Bands Australia says: “In Australia we have a number of world-class, professional musicians who rely upon these instruments for performance or competition, but also as a valuable investment that may one day serve as their superannuation.
“Many instruments have in fact been purchased as an investment for that very purpose. Others have been handed down through generations of family members and also from master to pupil. Not only are these of huge sentimental and financial value but also of significant cultural value.”
They have also written that in administering ivory bans, the United Kingdom Government has decreed that an exemption allows for up to 20 per cent of the instrument to include that material.
“Any calls for a total ban on the sale of any item that includes ivory would render an antique musical instrument worthless and impose on pipe bands in Australia and its members an unfair and inappropriate financial burden – our membership (bands) is self-funding, relying on unselfish commitment to performance and other community fundraising to continue the teaching of music and development of skills that build social involvement and responsibility with each new generation.
It is also submitted to the inquiry that, additional to excluding antique musical instruments from any recommendations that may require legislative or regulatory changes, recognition is given of the existence of such instruments and their use today in contemporary performance that can necessitate transportation to other jurisdictions and like any treasured piece of cultural significance, can continue to be traded for ongoing use and preservation.
Details on the inquiry can be found at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Law_Enforcement
Pipe Bands Australia has also written to the Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud after being made aware of changes to BICON conditions effective 31 May 2018 that potentially requires feather bonnets and hackles being imported into Australia to be each treated at a cost of up to $600.
The minister has been asked to:
Advise whether it was the intent of new BICON conditions to affect the functional and financial capacity of community-based organisations both in Australia and when representing Australia at major international events.
Advice whether implementation and application of BICON conditions will affect movement of items of pipe band uniform by members when travelling to other countries and returning to Australia.
Advice and assistance to ensure that members of Pipe Bands Australia will be able to continue purchasing, wearing and transporting their uniform that are only available from overseas manufacturers without the impost of additional fees and charges or the requirement for treatment that may in fact render damage to those items.
We will provide updates as they become available.