Federal Minister for the Arts and occasional guitar strummer Tony Burke has flagged details of Labor’s new national cultural policy. The historic framework which is set to be unveiled on January 30 will be Australia’s first national cultural policy in a decade.
While speaking at Queensland’s Woodford Folk Festival on Friday, Burke told attendees the policy will consist of five separate elements as per Guardian Australia.
These include putting “First Nations first”, finding a “place for every story”, ensuring the “centrality of the artist”, capacity to “reach the audience” and maintaining “strong institutions”.
Importantly, Burke noted that Australia’s TV and film industry required a massive cash injection.
He cited an “automatic structural disadvantage” when comparing Australia to larger English-speaking economies (such as the UK and USA) which can produce content for the screen for much cheaper.
To combat these issues, the Federal Government is set to impose wider-reaching quotas to ensure more is produced on Australian soil and more Australian arts workers are employed.
This would specifically affect streaming services such as Stan and Netflix, since Foxtel and all free to air stations already operate under quotas.
Streaming service quotas for local production were initially floated in the Australian Parliament by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young in 2018.
Considering this, it looks likely the government’s cultural policy will receive crossbench support when it is tabled in 2023.
Fairer remuneration practices were also flagged.
One specific example was to change the laws around e-book lending so that authors are paid per borrow, rather than the distributor retaining all the fees.
Burke also dropped a few spicy thoughts on how consecutive terms of Coalition governance has stifled the arts industry in Australia.
“We’ve had 10 years where, from government, a culture war was waged,” he told festival goers as per The West Australian.
“[You can] leave Woodford on the first or second of the new year knowing that in 2023 the culture war is over and cultural policy is ready to begin.”
The announcement comes after PM Anthony Albanese also spoke at the festival about his vision for the future of the Australian arts industry.
“The arts suffered terribly during COVID,” he said as per Sunshine Coast News.
“The arts are not a luxury, they are central to our very being.”
Good sentiments. Now pls deliver.