Following the 2015 Federal Budget and its reallocation of arts funding from the Australia Council to the government administered ‘National Program for Excellence in the Arts’ (renamed ‘Catalyst’ following a ministerial reshuffle), the arts community is understandably keen to see what's in the 2016 Federal Budget on Tuesday 3 May. A Budget countdown clock can be seenhere.
AMPAG's Pre-Budget Submission asserted the need for stability and certainty in government funding across the arts sector as essential for a robust arts ecology. It stated 'the performing arts need encouragement, a vision of how cuts to government investment in artistic content and operations will be addressed over the next 3 year period and time to restabilise.' AMPAG believes this can only be achieved by increasing funding to the Australia Council to offset the cuts to its program funding in last year's budget.
Recognising the need to build support for the arts in a fiscally tight environment AMPAG encouraged Government to continue to stimulate philanthropic support, ensuring it was a complement to, rather than a replacement for, current government investment.
AMPAG also reiterated recommendations outlined in its submission to the House of Representatives Committee inquiring into broadcasting, online content and live production to rural and regional Australia; these being an increase in funds available through Playing Australia and an extension of the National Touring Status.
It also called for continued support by government for new major engagement and/ or artistic projects as well as in developing the capacity of the major performing arts companies to develop ambitious and effective international engagement strategies.
AMPAG will be closely monitoring all relevant 2016 Budget announcements and policy initiatives delivered on Tuesday 3 May and will keep members in touch with how the Budget may affect our sector and what responses we have drafted.