Restore Australia Council funding
In 2015 the Australian Society of Authors joined hundreds of arts organisations and individual artists in calling on the Commonwealth Government to restore national arts funding to the Australia Council. The call has been made in response to the May 2015 government decision to remove much of the Australia Council’s funding so that it could be disbursed instead by the Arts Minister.
The creation of a new Arts Ministry funding body, “Catalyst”, represents a costly duplication of the arts bureaucracy, as well as political interference in funding decisions. The ASA believes that the principle of peer-review, arms-length funding is an essential one for arts funding in a democratic country.
A vibrant, inclusive society needs a vibrant and inclusive arts sector. This requires not only a restoration of funding but a boost to the funds that are invested in the arts and artists of Australia. Out of an annual Commonwealth budget of approximately $400 billion, only about 0.35% goes to the arts, and most of that goes to galleries, museums and the big performance companies.
The ASA will continue to press for a full restoration of arts funding to the Australia Council and a commitment to the principles of peer-reviewed assessment at arms-length from government.