The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample
of 1,004 Australians about how they have engaged with the creative arts
during the lockdown on 8-9 May 2020.
- One in two Australians (51%) agree that the Government should double funding for the Australia Council for the Arts to help support the arts during the COVID-19 lockdown, 32% disagree.
- More than three in five Australians (62%) agree that
online streaming services should have similar Australian content
obligations to screen and promote Australian content as television stations do, 23% disagree.
- Most Australians (68%) underestimate the number of people employed in the creative arts relative to coal mining
- Only 7% correctly answer that the arts employ significantly more than coal mining does.
- During lockdown, Australians are participating in more cultural activities.
- Most Australians are watching more television shows and movies (61% and 54% respectively).
- 31% of Australians are reading more works of fiction and 25% are reading more non-fiction.
- The vast majority of Australians (73%) agree that the arts have improved their mood and quality of life during the pandemic, 15% disagree.
“With the Government’s $60 billion JobKeeper overestimate, there is
little excuse why it cannot afford to now double the funding to the
Australia Council and include arts workers in the JobKeeper program as
part of an arts and entertainment industry rescue package,” said Rod
Campbell, Research Director of The Australia Institute.
“The COVID-19 crisis has hit the arts hard, with reports of over $330
million in contracts lost. This comes on top of the challenges already
facing the sector, such as the substantial reductions in federal funding
in recent years. Prior to COVID-19 the Australia Council was already in
a funding crisis and it would be a wise move for the Government to
double its funding and provide a much-needed lifeline to the arts and
“The COVID-19 lockdowns have only served to enhance Australians’
appreciation of arts and entertainment, and the contribution the
creative industries makes to our everyday lives.
“The future of the creative industries is an important part of our
economic and cultural life. It would be a costly mistake for the
Government to choose not to throw the arts industry an economic
lifeline, which would not only revive our arts and entertainment
industries, but also flow on to tourism, hospitality and other hard-hit
areas of our economy.”
Polling - May 2020 - Lockdown and the arts [Web].pdf