Labor’s long-awaited National Cultural Policy is due for release next Wednesday, and the announcement has encouraged Liberal arts spokesman George Brandis to speak up about the portfolio. For the first time in years, the arts sector is faced with the encouraging prospect of a robust policy debate about culture between the major parties.
This outbreak of hostilities has been driven by the realisation that Labor’s blueprint, which some had thought would never see the light of day, is indeed slated for release after finally gaining cabinet approval. Arts Minister Simon Crean has booked a slot at the National Press Club on March 13, and the sector is being quietly briefed about the expected contents of the package. Crikey understands there will be new funding announcements attached to the policy, which will also include the government’s response to the Australia Council review.