As the Federal Government heads into its final weeks before releasing the 2017 May Budget, AMPAG has called for several crucial but affordable funding decisions to be made.
In its submission to the government’s Budget process in January this year, AMPAG appealed for Catalyst program funds to be returned to the Australia Council—and is delighted that this has since been done, as announced by the Minister for the Arts, Senator Mitch Fifield, last month.
‘Many smaller arts organisations had to scale back production when the Australia Council was stripped of crucial funding two years ago,’ Ms Bethwyn Serow, AMPAG’s executive director, said.
AMPAG Chair, John Irving, said, ‘The Federal Government has done the fair and sensible thing, returning the funds to the Australia Council. This will go some way to redressing the devastating impact previous changes in funding have had on the small to medium arts organisations.'
In its submission, AMPAG recommended an increase in the Playing Australia Program of $8 million in new funding, to be allocated evenly over four years from 2017–18 to 2020–21, to support additional performing arts access and engagement in regional Australia.
AMPAG also recommended the Federal Government extend full CPI indexation to all arts program funding to limit further erosion, provide additional resources to support cultural diplomacy and provide seed funding for major new works.
‘We also support the recommendation of the recent Opera Review which called for $24million—, in new funding— over four years be allocated to the major opera companies through proportional federal–state government contributions.
‘This would create a vibrant and sustainable opera sector in Australia, generate collaborations in creating new Australian work, as well as stimulating artist development and employment,' said John Irving.
‘Government investment in the arts is essential; it provides the base from which companies can then seek market returns and charitable support.
‘It is an effective investment, leveraging a further $2 in arts support for every dollar invested by government, generating valuable economic and social outcomes for the nation.
‘We are very confident that these steps will deliver benefits to the sector and significant increase public value, for a relatively small investment by the government’, he said.
1.Federal Government instigates a review of the funding of the small to medium-sized performing arts sector.
2.The Federal Government extends full CPI indexation to all arts program funding to limit further erosion.
3.The Federal Government continues its financial commitment to the MPA Framework including indexation and core funding for the MPA companies and undertakes to review the framework at regular intervals to identify and address emerging issues, or signs of market failure, in a timely way.
4.AMPAG supports recommendation 11:14 of the Opera Review to increase funding to the major opera companies by $24.136 million over four years through agreed proportional federal–state government contributions,
5.AMPAG supports recommendation 11:15 of the Opera Review that specifies recommendation 11:14must be supported through new funding and not applied by reducing funding commitment to other arts programs.
6.AMPAG recommends an increase in the Playing Australia Program of $8 million allocated evenly over four years from 2017–18 to 2020–21 to support additional performing arts access and engagement in regional Australia.
7.AMPAG recommends an increase in the number of performing arts companies operating with National Touring Status.
8.Students enrolled in performing arts performance courses run by reputable training providers (commercial, government and not-for-profit) with demonstrated links to the industry should have access to support through the VET student loan scheme.
9.The Federal Government should continue to support and encourage private giving through matched funding as a complement to (not a replacement of) core government support in the arts. This program funding for CPA should continue in 2017–18 and the CPA operation should be reviewed to identify programming needs for the next four years.
10.AMPAG recommends government stimulate development of original IP through a $20 million seed fund over 4 years for new innovative works of scale.
11.Provide an additional $5 million over four years for international touring of Australian productions.