Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Federal Government to restore Australia Council funding?

Federal Government to restore Australia Council funding?
October 6, 2016

Federal Minister for the Arts Mitch Fifield is reportedely ready to restore most, if not all, the funding to the Australia Council for the Arts plundered by the previous Arts Minister Senator George Brandis.

The Daily Review has reported that Senator Fifield is working with other agencies and arts bodies to dismantle most of the effects of Senator Brandis’ funding grab in the 2015 Federal Budget which saw $104 million taken from the Australia Council to fund The National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).

The Daily Review reports that while Catalyst funding is apparently favoured with some arts bodies in Queensland (Senator Brandis’ home state) and Western Australia, the program might remain in name but its funds will be substantially wound back and reallocated to the Australia Council.

Senator Brandis’ NPEA, later rebranded as Catalyst by Senator Fifield after taking on the arts portfolio, saw funds allocated not by the Australia Council’s peer review process but by Ministerial whim.

Dubbed a ‘slush fund’ by opponents, controversial Catalyst projects saw $485,000 allocated to a Queensland art dealer to stage a show of indigenous art at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco while  $1 million was allocated for the purchase and maintenance of the Adelaide Hills home of landscape painter Hans Heysen, who died in 1968.

Meanwhile, with a reduced budget the Australia Council was forced to end funding for many small and medium-sized arts organisations.

Since his appointment as Arts Minister in September last year, Senator Fifield has attempted to mend fences with the arts sector, returning a third of the NPEA funds to the Australia Council as of November 2015.

However, the Daily Review suggests that “while the Brandis debacle has caused incalculable damage to many within the small to medium sector, it has ironically united many and compelled them to articulate the value and importance of the arts to this country.”

It would also appear that Arts Ministry staff have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the additional work required to oversee the Catalyst program.

Following the Daily Review’s story, the arts sector has cautiously welcomed the news.

In a joint statement, the seven-member Executive of ArtsPeak (the confederation of Australian national peak arts bodies) said their organisation strongly supported the return of Catalyst funds to the Australia Council.

A statement for ArtsPeak advised “we have consistently pushed for the return of these funds on the basis that the Australia Council is an expert granting agency which uses a peer assessment process, ensuring that funding decisions are made at arms-length from the Minister of the day.

“We have yet to hear confirmation from Minister Fifield’s office, but we are heartened that the Minister has been listening to artists and companies around the country, and has taken on board the sector’s concerns.

“Our assessment of the Catalyst grants shows that approximately 80% of them have gone to recipients who have also received Australia Council funding. This means that one of the key rationales for the introduction of a new fund - to increase contestability - is unrealised. We also know that the administration duplication, for applicants and for the Australia Council and the Ministry, is a major issue, and has not been resolved.

“We would welcome an announcement from the Minister’s office confirming the return of the funds to the Australia Council. If it is confirmed, we will be looking at the detail of the transition: what it will mean for current Catalyst recipients and applicants; what are the timelines; how much will be returned to the Australia Council.”

Images: The Australia Council ended funding of quarterly literary publication Meanjin earlier this year (top) and Arts Minister Mitch Fifield (below).

3rd May 2016 - GOVERNMENT’S CATALYST ARTS FUND MAKES ALLOCATIONS ON EVE OF FEDERAL BUDGET

20th November 2015 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RETHINKS ARTS FUNDING WITH CHANGES TO UNPOPULAR NPEA INITIATIVE

12th November 2015 - ARTS MINISTER MITCH FIFIELD LOOKS AT NPEA REVISION

2nd July 2015 - ARTS MINISTER BRANDIS TO HAVE FINAL SAY ON NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS FUNDING


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Rae-Line

Sports Padding At Rae-Line we manufacture high quality sports padding, gym mats, foam mats and protective padding, suitable for a range of different facilities. Our sports padding is…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Sport

 
 

PAYSMART

Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology

 
 

Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 

Clubware

Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation

 
 

THE FITNESS GENERATION

The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools has a solid history of performance on a wide variety of government and commercial projects and is the name behind many of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Design

 
 

The Retention People Australia

TRP help health clubs, leisure centres and gyms across the globe create happy, loyal members through our user-friendly software which enables effective engagement and the delivery exceptional customer…

read more

Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

EventPro

At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business