Arts Minister Simon Crean announced the policy in Canberra on Wednesday, saying he saw the artist as central to Australia as a nation.
Arts Minister Simon Crean announced the policy in Canberra on Wednesday, saying he saw the artist as central to Australia as a nation. Marc Stapelberg

First Creative Australia policy in 20 years launched

MORE than $8 million in arts funding will be distributed between every electorate in the country to support rising young artists, under the $235 million National Cultural Policy launched on Wednesday.

The vast majority of funds under the policy - $75.3 million - will go to the Australia Council to boost its funding base and respond to last year's review of the council's operations.

Other groups to get a share in funding include $20.8 million for elite arts training schools, such as the Australian Ballet School, and $9.3 million for six performing arts companies.

The new Creative Australia policy is the first overarching cultural policy in Australia for 20 years.

Arts Minister Simon Crean announced the policy in Canberra on Wednesday, saying he saw the artist as central to Australia as a nation.

He also said the role of the arts in the broader economy was important, employed 5.3% of the national workforce, and was expected to grow in line with the grow of the digital world.

The Creative Yong Stars Program was one initiative which could have benefits outside of the capital cities, with every electorate in the country to get a share of $8.1 million to support youth participation in the arts.

"I don't believe that we should only be celebrating our young sports stars - we as a nation need to support and celebrate our talented young artists," Mr Crean said.

Other funding included $10 million to screen production for digital platforms, $11 million for the indigenous visual arts industry support program and $20 million for a new location incentive to entice more film crews to Australia.

Mr Crean said he would be introducing new laws in parliament to legislate the new policy as early as next week.



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