ACT Budget fails the arts and the artists, says lobby group

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IT’S GREAT  that the ACT Government has lashed out to refurbish the Canberra Theatre in the Budget, say local arts lobbyists The Childers Group, but what about the rest of the arts?

Canberra  Theatre Centre, to be refurbished
Canberra Theatre Centre, to be refurbished
“We appreciate the ACT Government’s recent and projected invested in capital works,” Childers spokesperson David Williams says.

“However, in terms of the arts organisations, arts workers, and – critically – the artists themselves, the Budget for 2015/2016 is lacking the drive, leadership, and strategic support the sector requires.”

The group’s chief concern is that since 2005 the ACT Arts Fund administered by artsACT has not been increased beyond CPI, leading to the inability of arts organisations to attract skilled personnel and then retain them over the long-term.

As well, the group has observed, artsACT appears to have suffered a $200,000 cut in funding.

Prof Williams said that the ACT Government has, laudably, sought to rebrand the national capital as “Confident, Bold, and Ready”.

But, he says, in terms of the arts, the 2015/16 Budget does not reflect these goals.

“Strategic and long-term investment in our arts organisations and artists is essential for a smart and healthy modern city,” he says.

“Canberra deserves consistent investment in its arts sector. Without an appropriate level of investment, the sector will disintegrate – and the community will be all the poorer for it.”

The Childers Group’s pre-budget submission may be viewed at


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