May 4, 2012

No news is bad news for culture policy pre-budget

The National Cultural Policy has fallen off the Gillard government's agenda. Meanwhile, new funding for the major performing arts sector is being announced outside the National Cultural Policy process.

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

What’s happening to the National Cultural Policy? Sadly, the answer appears to be: nothing.

Keen readers of this column will know that the Gillard government’s National Cultural Policy was slated for release on or before this Tuesday’s budget. This has been the firm guidance from Arts Minister Simon Crean’s office since mid-2011. Indeed, Crikey was told about a month ago that there would be an announcement for the weekend before the budget, and perhaps even a “mini-lock up” for arts journalists seeking to cover the announcement.

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4 thoughts on “No news is bad news for culture policy pre-budget

  1. Mark Lucas

    Hats off to John Wardle who appears to leading a one-man army against arts elitism. Those who live, breathe & occasionally get to work in the broader performing arts owe him a debt of gratitude (for these efforts as well as prior successes), & to the current government a collective kick in the arse for bowing, once again, to the self-interested snobbery of the “major performing arts sector”.

    This is about cultural life – the defining spirit of a nation, something that needs to be nurtured at all levels in order to grow & mature, showing the world that we’re not just a nation of footy loving beer swillers with a veneer of chardonnay sipping opera goers.

    There is a vibrant cultural life in this nation that is all but ignored by those in power, luckily it’s run by small pockets of performers & administrators, like John, with real passion & commitment, not elitist self-interest.

  2. mundi mundi

    No ‘culture policy’. Great news. Why on earth is the government spending our money on this crap?

  3. phjk

    Mundi Mundi, you’re a troll.
    Hats off indeed to John Wardle and to Ben Eltham. Arts policy in this country is in such dire need of an overhaul.

  4. Ben Eltham

    National arts lobby group ArtsPeak has responded to the posptonement.

    Julie Dyson and Tamara Winikoff, ArtsPeak Co-conveners, said today in a media release:

    “While we are disappointed to hear of the delay, we wish to reaffirm our support for the development of a well crafted and well resourced National Cultural Policy, and to assure the Government that our aspirations for a stronger and better supported arts industry remain undiminished.”

    “The cultural sector has fundamental significance in providing value to the creative endeavours, quality of life and expression of identity of the Australian community”, said Dyson and Winikoff.

    ArtsPeak believes that urgently needed is an articulation of specific strategies within a National Cultural Policy and appropriate resource allocation to further advance the contribution made by the arts to all Australians.

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