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A New National Cultural Policy

Posted by Yolande Smith | Jan 31, 2023

Labor’s new National Cultural Policy includes streaming quotas, reimagined Australia Council, and a new body targeting misconduct in the arts industry.

Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place

The release of the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy – Revive, is a landmark occasion as over the last nine years, national cultural institutions under the coalition government lost funding, budgets were diverted to programs under ministerial control that went nowhere, combined with key board appointments that showed little interest and lacked expertise. This is the first significant framework of it’s kind lead by Arts Minister Tony Burke in nearly a decade.

The Revive policy will invest $286 million in the sector over four years. That includes a new investment of $241 million, with an additional $45 million redirected from a COVID insurance scheme.

Revive is a five-year plan to renew and revive Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector. Delivering new momentum so that Australia’s creative workers, organisations and audiences continue to thrive and grow, and so that our arts, culture and heritage are re-positioned as central to Australia’s future.

Read the National Cultural Policy in full – Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place

Revive offers a comprehensive roadmap that establishes priorities for the government of the day for arts and culture, organised under 5 pillars, defining skills and resources to support the sector with a five-year outlook.

Key commitments include:

  • The establishment of Creative Australia, a new arts investment and advisory body that expands the functions and funding of the Australia Council and will continue to fund projects at arm’s length, based on their artistic merit.
  • The creation of a First Nations-led board within Creative Australia to make decisions about investment in First Nations works.
  • The creation of Music Australia, worth $69 million, with a remit to invest in the development, production and promotion of Australian music, as part of Creative Australia.
  • The creation of Writers Australia ($19.3 million), as part of Creative Australia, for funding, research and advocacy for writers, including the appointment of Australia’s first poet laureate, and determining the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
  • The creation of a Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces ($8.1 million), as part of Creative Australia, which will address complaints about fair pay, sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the industry. Government funding for organisations could be withdrawn if they fail to adhere to new workplace safety standards.
  • The restoration of $44 million to the Australia Council (rebranded as Creative Australia) to address underfunded areas such as youth arts.

  • Legislation to protect the copyright of Indigenous artists, including blocking the sale of fake Indigenous art, merchandise and souvenirs.
  • Undertaking to pursue the repatriation to Australia of First Nations ancestors and artefacts from overseas, as well as the return of ancestors and artefacts held in Australia’s major museums. This will include the establishment of the National Resting Place, dedicated to the care of ancestors returned from overseas.
  • A First Nations Languages Policy Partnership, worth $11 million, which will support 60 primary schools to teach local First Nations languages and cultural knowledge and includes a commitment to preserve and safeguard First Nations languages.
  • Local content quotas for streaming services operating in Australia, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video, will be imposed from mid-next year. The exact percentage will be negotiated with the platforms and the wider industry over the next six months, although the sector has persistently advocated for 20 per cent of local revenue to be reinvested.
  • Authors, illustrators and editors will earn money when their e-books and audiobooks are borrowed from a library through a $12.9 million digital lending rights scheme.
  • $11.8 million in extra funding for the National Gallery of Australia for a pilot program to tour its collection to galleries around Australia.
  • The creation of a works of scale fund, worth $19 million, to commission new Australian work.
  • The extension of resale royalties for visual art to cover international sales, at a cost of $1.8 million.
  • An increase in funding to regional artists through an increase to the Regional Arts Fund, and the continuation of Festivals Australia, which helps fund regional festivals.
  • The establishment of artist residencies to visit Australian World Heritage Sites.
  • A national arts and disability plan to remove barriers to working in the creative industries for people with disabilities.
  • The restoration of the Australian Interactive Games Fund, under Screen Australia, which supports local video game development, and was abolished by the coalition government in 2014.
  • Support for specialist arts and language education in schools.
  • Pilot funding for art and music therapy programs.

This new policy was shaped by the diverse voices of the Australian arts, entertainment and cultural sector. Town hall events were held across the country for stakeholders and community members to convey their views. There was also a public submissions process which has now closed.

Learn More about the National Cultural Policy

Read more about the consultation

PDF: National Cultural Policy Advisory Group Independent Advice

Australian Government: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

Register for a Policy Briefing

National Cultural Policy and Creative Australia
Wednesday 1 February
2.45–3.30pm AEDT
Click here to register.

Music Australia
In conversation with The Music Network
Thursday 9 February
2.15–3.00pm AEDT
Click here to register.

Writers Australia
Thursday 9 February
Click here to register.


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