ACT Minister for the Arts, Gordon Ramsay, today (June 21) announced he will be seeking the views of the arts community on a proposal to form a new Ministerial Arts Advisory body to inform the government on arts policy and other related matters.
The move is in line with requests from the arts community over recent months for a return to a body similar to the now-defunct ACT Cultural Council.
As well as announcing the consultation Mr Ramsay talked up the arts component of the recent ACT Budget, describing it as “the highest ever level of funding for the arts in Canberra”. While pointing to a $21.6 million allocation in the 2017-18 Budget, he also included a substantial increase in baseline arts project funding.
His claims are contested by many members of the arts community especially the Canberra Arts Action Group, which has produced figures suggesting that in real terms there has been no such increase.
Mr Ramsay said: “The consultation will cover a range of issues including the purpose of an advisory body, what it would advise on, how the government would best ensure the advisory body will properly represent all art forms, and most importantly how such a body would best serve both the arts community and the government.”
Expressions of interest to attend one of several roundtable discussions in July have opened and will close on Wednesday, June 28. Registrations to arts.act.gov.au