More money would mean fewer problems for the arts

by Bill Browne

Arts and entertainment have amused, comforted and inspired Australians during COVID-19 pandemic – but have been hit hard by lockdowns. The $222.9 million announced in the Budget for additional arts sector support is welcome, but not sustained: most is going to financially support events and productions in this and the next financial year.

The sector is a jobs-creator, but it needs government support to tell authentic Australian stories.

An additional $85.4 million for the big cultural institutions (the National Gallery of Australia, Australian National Maritime Museum, and so on) is welcome – but $79.9 million of that is for critical works and maintenance. Only $5.5 million is going to create something new: an exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy.

It’s not enough to patch holes and keep the physical buildings standing: we need thriving, modern institutions with new content for Australians to engage with.

Finally, the Government has set aside $28.1 million to deliver its Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Action Plan. We’re still waiting on the Action Plan itself, which is due some time this year – prompted by the report into inauthentic art and craft in the style of First Nations people.

Back to Budget Wrap 2021

Related research

General Enquiries

Tanya Martin Office Manager

02 6130 0530

Media Enquiries

Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser

0413 208 134

RSS Feed

All news