- Public sector changes see arts portfolio absorbed into roads, rail and ports
- Changes remove prominence of the arts from the title of a Federal Government department for first time since Bob Hawke era
- Move fails to acknowledge creative industries as a $111.7 billion per year industry
The Morrison Government changes to the status of the arts within the Federal Government bureaucracy is a major insult to the creative industries, which is worth $111.7 billion to the national economy each year.
Absorbing the portfolio into a mega department of 'Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications' represents a fundamental lack of acknowledgement by the Morrison Government of the importance of the creative and cultural industries both socially and economically to our nation.
The important role of the former Department in providing policy and program oversight to the Government's major arts and cultural programs and commitments, providing investment and support to the network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and language centres across the country, is potentially at stake.
The Department has also been responsible for managing the delivery of vital regional arts funding and touring programs for performing and visual arts, providing oversight for our major cultural heritage institutions and our major arts and screen funding agencies, and delivering programs for literature and visual arts.
Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman today has called on the Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts to assure the community that the changes will not result in any cuts to programs or services or reduce the status of the arts within Government.
Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"I will be writing to Minister Fletcher to seek an assurance that the significant work that has been undertaken to date by the former Department of Communication and the Arts will not be abandoned.
"The research and policy guidance provided by the department has enabled significant work to take place, across agencies and jurisdictions, such as the recent adoption of a new National Performing Arts Partnership Framework, which offers a principles based approach to the funding for our major performing arts companies.
"I sincerely hope that these changes are just cosmetic and don't represent a whole scale downgrading of the creative industries by the Morrison Government.
"I would also like to assure the sector that I will continue to advocate on their behalf to ensure their needs are met."
Minister's office - 6552 5400