Labor announces its vision for the arts

14 September 2007
Peter Garrett AM

Federal Labor today released a comprehensive arts policy framework

New Directions for the Arts represents the most detailed arts policy document released by either side of politics in the lead up to the election, and confirms Labor’s commitment to a vibrant, diverse and well-supported arts sector.

Labor recognises that as the century unfolds creativity will become increasingly essential to our national well-being and prosperity.

For eleven years the Howard Government has marginalised the arts and artists by dampening artistic freedom of expression and failing to properly address the perennial financial sustainability problems that beset many arts companies, organisations and individuals.

A Rudd Labor Government will restore the role of the arts in our national life by cutting the bureaucratic red tape involved in the grant application process, boosting the capacity of Australian students to access arts education and supporting the growing digital industries including film and television.

The key initiatives of Labor’s New Directions for the Arts are:

Resale royalty scheme
Labor will implement a resale royalty scheme for visual artists. This, in particular, will provide additional support for Indigenous artists who have witnessed a boom in the Indigenous art market.
Supporting Australian artists
Labor will establish ArtStart to review the current state of artists’ incomes and develop policies to redress the fact that many artists are poorly remunerated for their work. ArtStart will be developed in consultation with the arts sector and state and local governments.
An independent and transparent Australia Council
Labor will ensure transparent board appointments, simplified funding application processes and a greater voice for practising artists and arts entrepreneurs.
A strong commitment to Indigenous arts
Labor will respond to the Senate Committee Report Indigenous Art – Securing the Future to address the issues of sustainability and unscrupulous conduct
Arts education for all students
Labor will work with the states and territories to improve the current provision of arts and music education in schools. Currently only 23 per cent of state school students have access to music education.
Developing the creative industries
Labor will develop a Strategic Digital Industry Plan, engaging with the digital sector in the areas of IP, government procurement and export and innovation.
Labor is committed to world-class telecommunications infrastructure and will invest up to $4.7 billion to establish the National Broadband Network in partnership with the private sector.
A Rudd Labor Government will recognise the critical contribution of the arts to our identity, community and economy.