Politicians shouldn’t decide what stories we can and can’t hear.

The Coalition Government has cut funding to the Australia Council and put Mitch Fifield in charge of a $104.7 million dollar Ministerial slushfund. 

But arts funding should be allocated on merit, not according to the whims of a Minister.

The policies of the Turnbull and Abbott Governments have had a deeply damaging impact on this community. Important, respected organisations have been defunded.  Compelling voices have been silenced. Jobs have been lost. The Liberal Party’s decision to destroy the arts is simply a disgrace.  

The Labor party commits to righting those wrongs, and we will fight to protect the arts. 

Labor has committed to the following funding and programs if elected to Government. 

 Labor will restore the vital funding that George Brandis stripped from the Australia Council to establish Catalyst. We will close the Catalyst fund and restore all remaining funding to the Australia Council. 

Together with that $32 million, we will provide $20 million a year in new funding for the Australia council over four years, commencing in 2017. 

Labor will increase the Regional Arts Fund by $8 million over four years from 2017, in addition to its current funding, doubling the size of Federal support for regional touring.

We will strengthen the contemporary live music industry by creating “Sounds Australia”, an umbrella organisation to develop and deliver export, domestic and content management strategies, facilitating job growth across the entire music industry.

Labor will invest an additional $60 million in the ABC over three years to produce local drama series, strengthening our domestic television industry.  

We will introduce additional funding to support classroom music programs, to ensure that all students have access to the creative industries from an early stage. 

Most importantly, the Labor party commits to valuing the importance of the arts as a fundamental part of Australia’s society, economy and identity. The ALP is the party of the arts, and would never engage in the kind of ruthless, arrogant and sudden changes to arts funding that this Government has embarked on. 

We will stand by the arts community, and help them rebuild following the damage the Turnbull Abbott Government has done. We commit to listening to them, and respecting their value and importance to Australia and its economy.

To find out how you can support, please click here to help save Independent Arts Funding http://www.alp.org.au/independentarts

A Vote for Evan is a Vote to protect this Nation’s Artists.