Arts sector faces significant cuts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the Federal Government hands down the 2014 Budget, Australia’s arts sector has been hit with significant cuts, while cultural agencies will see an increase in the Efficiency Dividend.

The Government has announced it will achieve savings of $87.1 million over four years by reducing uncommitted funding to arts programmes administered by the Attorney-General’s Department ($33.8  million), the Australia Council ($28.2 million) and Screen Australia ($25.1  million).

The Government will also achieve savings of $1.8 million over four years from 2013 – 2014 by ceasing the Adelaide Festival Centre’s support for  the Asian cultural activities programme. The Interactive Games Fund will cease as of 1 July 2014, saving the Government $10 million.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation will see a one per cent reduction in their base funding achieving a saving of $43.5 million over four years.

The annual Efficiency Dividend will be increased by 0.25 per cent to all Government entities, except those that have been specifically exempted by the Government. This will have an impact on a number of our cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, though the Australian War Memorial is exempt.

On a positive note, the Government will provide $1.0 million in 2014 – 2015 to support the purchase of a residence for the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, to provide boarding accommodation for students. Creative Partnerships Australia will be provided $5.4 million over four years to continue operations.

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Image: National Gallery of Australia