National Cultural Policy: Revive

The Albanese Labor Government released the details of its renewed national cultural policy on Monday morning, with the Prime Minister joining Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, Senator Jana Stewart, the Member for Macnamara, Josh Burns, and arts sector leaders at Melbourne’s Hotel Esplanade.

The five year policy titled Revive is backed by $286 million in funding and establishes Creative Australia as the Government’s new principal arts investment and advisory body. First Nations culture, art and language is at the forefront of the new policy, with a dedicated First Nations-led Board within the newly established Creative Australia to be established.

Among the changes announced in Revive are the extension of the Public and Educational Lending Right Schemes to include digital content including e-books and audiobooks, and the announcement of the Government’s intention to legislate Australian content obligations on streaming platforms in the second half of 2023, commencing 1 July 2024. The Government will consult on the proposed content obligations in the coming months.

Revive is underpinned and structured by five pillars:

  1. First Nations First: Recognising and respecting the crucial place of First Nations stories at the centre of Australia’s arts and culture.
  2. A Place for Every Story: Reflecting the breadth of our stories and the contribution of all Australians as the creators of culture.
  3. Centrality of the Artist: Supporting the artist as worker and celebrating artists as creators.
  4. Strong Cultural Infrastructure: Providing support across the spectrum of institutions which sustain our arts, culture and heritage.
  5. Engaging the Audience: Making sure our stories connect with people at home and abroad.

Four new bodies will be created within Creative Australia:

  • A new First Nations-led body that will give First Nations people autonomy over decisions and investments.
  • Music Australia, a dedicated new body to support and invest in the Australian contemporary music industry.
  • Writers Australia, to support writers and illustrators to create new works.
  • A new Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces to ensure creative workers are paid fairly and have safe workplaces free from harassment and discrimination.

Key actions to be taken by the Government include:

  • An increase to the Regional Arts Fund.
  • Mandated minimum remuneration for professional musicians and performers contracted by government entities to perform at Australian Government events and functions.
  • $12.9 million to modernise and extend the Public and Educational Lending Right Schemes to include digital content under the schemes. Currently Australian book publishers and creators are only entitled to compensation when printed works are held in Australian public and educational lending libraries. This policy will extend compensation to digital media including e-books and audiobooks.
  • Introduce a Digital Games Tax Offset to support growth in large scale games development in Australia.
  • Introduce requirements for Australian screen content on streaming platforms to ensure continued access to local stories and content in the third quarter of 2023 and to commence no later than 1 July 2024, with the Minister for the Arts and the Minister for Communications to undertake further consultation with industry in the first half of 2023 on the details of actions to be taken and implementation as part of the Commonwealth’s broader reforms to media legislation.

Revive sets out the actions to be taken by the Australian Government in the delivery of this policy, including:

Pillar 1: First Nations First

  • Establish a dedicated First Nations-led Board within the newly established Creative Australia.
  • Develop a First Nations Creative Workforce Development Strategy.
  • Promote best practice cultural protocols, the principle of self‑determination and cultural safety training.
  • Provide $80.0 million to establish a National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
  • Provide $50.0 million, in partnership with the Western Australian Government, towards the establishment of a world-class Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Perth.
  • Provide $5.0 million to upgrade training facilities at NAISDA Dance College’s Kariong campus.
  • Establish a First Nations Languages Policy Partnership between First Nations representatives and Australian governments.
  • Support sixty primary schools around Australia to teach local First Nations languages and cultural knowledge.
  • Develop a National Action Plan that identifies priority areas that will preserve and safeguard First Nations languages.
  • Introduce stand-alone legislation to protect First Nations knowledge and cultural expressions.
  • Review the Indigenous Art Code to strengthen protections.
  • Provide a comprehensive response to the Productivity Commission’s report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts and Crafts.

Pillar 2: A Place for Every Story

  • Increase to the Regional Arts Fund.
  • Invest in local arts and cultural infrastructure.
  • Establish artist residencies to visit Australian World Heritage Sites.
  • Protect and conserve Australia’s natural, historic and First Nations heritage places through the next phase of Natural Heritage Trust funding.
  • Develop an Arts and Disability Associated Plan, under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–31.
  • Provide pilot funding to support access to art and music therapy programs.
  • Undertake a Multicultural Framework Review.
  • Establish a Community Language Schools Grants program to encourage more young Australians to learn a second language.
  • Establish an Office for Youth and new youth engagement mode.
  • Improve access to services that enhance community wellbeing.
  • Invest in improved digital connectivity, including for First Nations communities and people in regional and remote areas.

Pillar 3: Centrality of the Artist

  • Mandate minimum remuneration for professional musicians and performers contracted by government entities to perform at Australian Government events and functions.
  • Endorse the voluntary Code of Practice for Visual Arts, Craft and Design.
  • Include Award coverage of the arts sector and minimum standards as part of the upcoming Review of Modern Awards.
  • Establish a Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces, within the newly established Creative Australia.
  • Fully implement all fifty‑five recommendations of the Respect@Work Report.
  • Provide funding for Support Act through the Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces.
  • Modernise and extend the Public and Educational Lending Right Schemes to include digital content under the schemes.
  • Enhance the Resale Royalty Scheme to provide royalty payments to visual artists from the commercial sale of eligible works internationally.
  • Undertake a broad and comprehensive review of the effectiveness of Australia’s copyright enforcement regime.
  • Review Australia’s higher education system and develop the Australian Universities Accord which will, as part of the Terms of Reference, consider the impact of changes made under the 2020 Job‑ready Graduates reforms, including changes to student contribution amounts.
  • Support the ongoing financial sustainability of the seven national performing arts training organisations, including through removal of the efficiency dividend.

Pillar 4: Strong Cultural Infrastructure

  • Restore funding cuts to the Australia Council.
  • Deliver a triennial State of Australian Culture Survey.
  • Re-establish intergovernmental meetings between Commonwealth, state and territory cultural ministers.
  • Creative Australia will undertake specific research on the national qualitative, quantitative and economic impact of music festivals.
  • establishing a program of long-term loans of works from the National Gallery of Australia’s collection to regional and suburban cultural institutions.
  • Digitise at-risk First Nations cultural material for preservation.

Pillar 5: Engaging the Audience

  • Deliver improvements to the National Broadband Network and regional connectivity.
  • Protect performers and audiences from ticket scalpers.
  • Invest in digital and media literacy.
  • Continue activities and programs that support live performance, festivals and touring, including in regional areas.
  • Introduce a Digital Games Tax Offset to support growth in large‑scale games development in Australia.
  • Increase investment to support digital games developers and small and medium independent games studios through Screen Australia.
  • Continue support for investment in large-scale screen productions in Australia through film tax offsets and location-based production incentives.
  • Introduce requirements for Australian screen content on streaming platforms, to commence no later than 1 July 2024.
  • Provide security of funding and independence for Australia’s national broadcasters, ABC and SBS, by delivering five-year funding terms, and reinstating indexation for ABC funding.
  • Conduct a feasibility study to expand Double J’s reach.
  • Appoint an Ambassador for First Nations People and establish an Office for First Nations Engagement.
  • Reinstate the Australian Arts in Asia and the Pacific Awards.

Further information

The full Revive policy document can be accessed here.

For more information, please contact Hawker Britton’s Managing Director Simon Banks on +61 419 648 587.

Further Hawker Britton Occasional Papers are available here.

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