Date published: 11/12/2019

We are dismayed by the decision of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to merge the Department of Communications and the Arts into a new mega department that drops Arts from its name and aligns it with roads and rail. 

What role the incoming Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications will have in championing Australian arts and culture is not clear. What is clear however, is that this backwards step seeks to remove the significance of the Arts from our everyday lives, like its regular absence from the Coalition's election agendas already suggests. Ignoring the importance of Arts, further exacerbates the resulting years of tough cultural policy-making since the 'Brandis Cuts' in 2015, which were also introduced without full and proper consultation with the sector.

"The intrinsic value that artistic integrity and inspired-thinking delivers through the Arts, allows us to experience a range of perspectives and voices while developing and maintaining our heritage. It is who we are. The freedom to articulate and express ourselves is what makes us human and enriches the everyday lives of ourselves as individuals and within communities. To deny the importance of the Arts by refusing to acknowledge it at the highest level of government is to silence our voices and ignore our humanity," says Sue-Lyn Aldrian, General Manager.

We call on Culture and the Arts Minister Hon. David Templeman and the Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Hon. Paul Fletcher, to guarantee that the changes will not result in reducing the status of the Arts within Government or in further funding cuts, and that they will work towards its rightful recognition.

 

Further reading

Reassurance needed for $111.7 billion creative industries, Media Statement, Hon David Templeman, Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Culture and the Arts

Chamber adds voice to concern over changes to Department for the Arts, Chamber of Arts and Culture WA

What’s in a name change? The invisibility of the arts to the national agenda, NAVA

Cultural and Creative Activity in Australia 2008-09 to 2016-17, Bureau of Communications and Arts Research, Department of Communications and the Arts

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