Mar 4, 2013

Labor are ‘philistines’ on arts: Brandis ignites policy debate

Get set: we might finally be about to have a genuine debate on arts policy. Ahead of the long-awaited release of Labor's National Cultural Policy, shadow minister George Brandis fires up to Crikey.

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

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

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.

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7 thoughts on “Labor are ‘philistines’ on arts: Brandis ignites policy debate

  1. Migraine

    I despair of a sensible policy on arts, culture or any issue when “lots of policy announcements” is offered as evidence of activity, informed debate, a useful contribution … as evidence of anything, in fact.

  2. Sally James

    … because actions don’t speak louder than words… indeed.

  3. Holden Back

    Our next Attorney-General.

  4. Hamis Hill

    This just a basic propaganda tactic, much indulged in by the conservatives: project your most heinous faults onto your opponents in an attempt to divert criticism.
    Unfortunately for Brandis the Arts community know who their enemies are.
    (Use of the term Phillistine, negatively, should be avoided since the Palestinians have a right to be aggrieved.)

  5. TheFamousEccles

    From one such as Brandis, this little spray means next to nothing. Yet another example of a shadow Minister straying inadvertently into his portfolio.

  6. Holden Back

    To be fair, the Liberals have many Members who actually enjoy going to the shiny high-end stuff, and are happy to see the flagship companies well supported by Government. Garrett made a hash of the threatened ANAM closure, through inexperience, and left many in the traditional arts sector feeling that unless they were deemed ‘relevant’ by the Minister the future might be uncertain.

    On the other hand, this ‘ignition’ of a ‘policy debate’ seems to be a damp squib.

  7. Alastair Leith

    Sorry where is the story here Ben — the link I clicked on said:
    “We might finally be about to have a genuine debate on arts policy. Ahead of the long-awaited release of Labor’s National Cultural Policy, Ben Eltham talks to opposition arts spokesman George Brandis.”

    What exactly did you talk about, Philistines? Anything of substance? Carry on…

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