MEDIA RELEASE: Is the arts side of ACT Budget 2015/16 really ‘Confident, Bold, Ready’?

5 Jun

Might the ACT Government's budget for 2015-2016 put the arts sector at the risk of disintegration?

Might the ACT Government’s budget for 2015-2016 put the arts sector at the risk of disintegration?

The Childers Group congratulates the ACT Government for committing to the refurbishment of the Canberra Theatre in its budget for 2015/2016, but the Group expresses real concern that overall the ACT’s arts sector is going backwards.

‘We appreciate the ACT Government’s recent and projected invested in capital works,’ said Childers Group spokesperson Professor David Williams. ‘However, in terms of funding the arts organisations, arts workers, and – critically – the artists themselves, the budget for 2015/2016 is lacking the drive, leadership, and strategic support the sector requires.’

The Childers Group’s key concerns are:

  • since 2005 the ACT Arts Fund administered by artsACT has not been increased beyond CPI – this means that the Fund is unable to provide the support required by the city’s key arts organisations, which in turn means the ability for the ACT community to engage with the arts is being severely curtailed;
  • the lack of Arts Fund growth also leads to the inability of arts organisations to attract skilled personnel and then retain them over the long-term; and
  • artsACT itself seems to have suffered a $200,000 cut in funding.

The Childers Group’s pre-budget submission can be found here.

‘Recently the ACT Government rebranded the national capital as Confident, Bold, Ready,’ said Professor Williams. ‘Regrettably, in terms of the arts, the 2015/16 Budget does not reflect these goals, as laudable as they are. Strategic and long-term investment in our arts organsiations and artists is essental for a smart and healthy modern city. Canberra deserves consistent investment in its arts sector. Without an appropriate level of investment, the sector will disintegrate – and the community will be all the poorer for it.’

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