National Cultural Policy Promises more than $200 million for the Arts

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The National Cultural Policy - Creative Australia - which was launched by the former Federal Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean, will now be the responsibility of the new Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke.

The policy promises increased spending for the Arts of more than $200 million. and includes the following initiatives:

  • Australia Council -  $75m (over 4 years)
  • Creative Partnerships Australia - $8.6m
  • Elite arts training organisations - $20.8m
  • Indigenous languages - $14m
  • Major performing arts companies (6) - $9.3m
  • ArtsReady on-the-job arts training - $3.4m
  • Creative Young Stars (grants allowance for federal MPs) - $8.1m
  • Screen Australia digital and multi-platform programs - $10m

In addition to the increase in funding, the policy also announces plans to extend the Legal Deposit Scheme for the National Library to digital material; and  a new legal deposit scheme for the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia to collect and preserve Australian audio-visual material.

In a joint press release the Attorney-General Mark Dreyfuss noted the importance of copyright to the arts community. "The Copyright Act 1968 needs to balance the protection of the intellectual property of creators with a digital world characterised by consumer expectations of sharing content. Copyright protection is vital for creators and businesses whose income is derived online. Copyright protection will help encourage investment and innovation in digital technologies and content." 

The current review of Australian copyright law by the ALRC and the Convergence Review will need to take into consideration the aims of Creative Australia.

There are a number of initiatives specific to  contemporary music, though most have already been announced:

  • $3 million over four years was provided in 2012 to support the contemporary music industry; including $1.75 million for SOUNDS AUSTRALIA which will grow export and domestic music markets. This funding will also assist the contemporary music industry to respond to the challenges of the digital environment, and put in place a National Live Music Coordinator to ensure the Australian live music scene continues to thrive and contribute to our export success. There will be $1.25 million to address career pathways in the contemporary music industry, which will provide a range of initiatives, including a program of residencies and training to develop song writing and performance skills of musicians.
  • Regional touring programs including $0.4m for the Contemporary Music Touring Program.

The National Cultural Policy can be accessed here: http://creativeaustralia.arts.gov.au/

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