May 11, 2012

Cultural policy in limbo … which might give the space needed

The federal government's decision to delay the National Cultural Policy is disappointing. But it is also an opportunity to deliver a better, broader policy.

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

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

Cultural policy is in limbo. Artists and industry types aren’t exactly rioting in the streets — they’re not even penning outraged opinion pieces yet — but there is a certain level of unease within the sector.

Arts Minister Simon Crean has delayed the announcement of the National Cultural Policy. The policy was slated for release the weekend before Tuesday night’s budget, but has been put on the back-burner. The Australia Council review is also awaiting release — Crikey understands that it has been completed — because it was going to be incorporated into the National Cultural Policy too.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “Cultural policy in limbo … which might give the space needed

  1. Richard Letts

    The collecting institutions apparently will get some more money but more than what? They are so squeezed that there have been serious lay-offs. The position of Curator of Music at the National Library appears to have gone, along with at least one other specialist arts position. Seven senior positions at the National Film and Sound Archive are being abolished. The ‘efficiency dividend’ has now been in place for long enough that it is wreaking havoc. The Australia Council gets progressively squeezed with inflationary increases of half of predicted inflation, possibly with the shortfall mostly hitting the Boards serving the small to medium companies and individual artists. So when an increase in funds is announced, it is only real at the point where it overtakes the loss of funds from the shortfall in inflationary increases. Funds to the AMRAP project of the Community Broadcasting Association, which has done a tremendous amount to get more Australian music played on 300 community stations around the country, have been terminated. The three positive grants to music projects ANAM, WAM and Sounds Australia, appear to be fair dinkum, so that’s good.

  2. Ben Eltham

    Dick – my understanding is that the new money for the collecting institutions will cover the expected budget reductions from the efficiency dividend. However as you rightly point out, the Australia Council (as well as Screen Australia and AFTRS) have not been given extra money and will experience efficiency dividends.

    The AMRAP cut has flown under the radar so far but I expect that it will come to more attention as word starts to spread.

  3. Daryl...

    Will any other race get a television channel or just Aboriginals? Is there really a need to continue with the SBS in this day and age? Where is the vision that will enable us to create something like “Wicked” or “Phantom of the Opera” here in Australia?

    This post is just another demand for handouts, market restrictions and an opportunity to bash corporations that make the profits to pay for it all.

    Look to Europe, there you see the stark reminder of what happens to economies based on debt and entitlement.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details