Statement from Regional Arts Australia on the 2015/16 Budget
14 March 2015
In the budget announced recently Regional Arts Australia welcomes the continued commitment of the Commonwealth to supporting arts and culture in preserving the level of funding to the sector.
With the announcement of a ‘National Programme for Excellence in the Arts’, we believe there is an important perspective about excellence in the delivery of high quality arts projects consistent with community and cultural development principles that help build the fabric of a community. We look forward to further details about this programme and further clarity around the strategies for attracting additional private sector support intended in the new programme.
The budget commitment of new funds for development in northern Australia is particularly welcome and we look forward to being involved in renewed discussion about the impact of arts and culture in building and maintaining communities in remote Australia.
We acknowledge the important role the major festivals play in Australian cultural life and the many opportunities they provide for showcasing the arts and culture of regional and remote Australia. Accordingly we welcome the doubling of funding for those festivals to $1.5 million.
We note the return of key programmes from the Australia Council for the Arts to the Ministry for the Arts. We trust that in the delivery of those programmes the Ministry will maintain the principle of independent peer assessment in assessing arts grants.
We also acknowledge the important leadership role played by the Australia Council in the cultural ecology of this nation in developing the arts, supporting national and international engagement and broad community access and participation. We encourage the commitment of resources to enable the Australia Council to deliver its recently released strategic plan, continue its important research to inform development and ensure adequate provision is made to the grant programs for artists and small arts organisations.
Regional Arts Australia
For further information please contact the Executive Director, John Oster.
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