Creative Australia, the new national cultural policy, will create jobs and encourage a new generation of artists and creative industry business with sweeping reforms to Australian Government support for the arts, cultural heritage and creative industries.
Arts Minister Simon Crean today launched Creative Australia, a $235 million vision and strategy to place arts and culture at the centre of modern Australian life.
"Creative Australia is about creating excellence, creating jobs, creating prosperity, creating opportunity and creating unique Australian stories—all vital to an outward looking, competitive and confident nation," Mr Crean said.
"I've long held a passion for the arts. It's not just the enjoyment they bring, I see the artist as central to us a nation and to securing its future.
"Creative Australia, the first national cultural policy for nearly 20 years, recognises that we must update our strategies because of the major changes sweeping through the cultural sector with digital communication and because more and more Australians are actively participating in cultural activities.
"The cultural sector—the arts, cultural heritage and the creative industries—must have the skills, resources, and resilience to play an active role in Australia's future.
"Australia must be a creative nation that spurs innovation, creates jobs for the 21st century and shapes a future of prosperity and shared opportunity.
"In 2011, the cultural workforce represented 5.3 per cent of the workforce and Census data shows that creative services employment is one of the fastest growing areas as the economy digitises.
"There's a social dividend in investing in the cultural sectors with the return in strengthening our underlying values of inclusiveness, openness and democratic practice. There's another benefit to the nation from investing in the arts and artists to build a rich cultural life: the economic dividend. A creative nation is a productive nation."
Creative Australia sets a long term agenda for cultural growth centred around five core goals with 11 pathways for action that provide a strategic framework to drive our national creative capacity
It will guide funding and support, recognise the centrality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in national life, encourage creative expression, recognise the role of the artist and connect the arts to national life for a social and economic dividend.
"The Australian Government will immediately implement structural reforms to the Australia Council. These are the most significant since its creation 40 years ago at a time when the arts were only beginning to realise their potential," Mr Crean said.
"I will be introducing new legislation into Parliament next week, which will be backed by an investment of $75.3 million in new funding for the Australia Council over four years.
"The Australia Council will be a more responsive funding body with a clear mandate to support and promote a vibrant and distinctively Australian creative arts practice, and have a new emphasis on independent peer-assessed grants to recognise and build artistic excellence.
"We will provide $8.6 million in additional new funding to Creative Partnerships Australia to build partnerships between artists, business and private donors to build a new culture of giving in Australia.
"Partnership across all levels of government will be strengthened with the finalisation next month of a National Arts and Culture Accord with state, territory and local government.
"As every Australian student gains a universal arts education with the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: the Arts, the Government will invest in building links to training with $20.8 million of new funding for Australia's arts training organisations over four years for the highest achieving.
"As well as this $8.1 million for the Creative Young Stars Program will be made available in every Australian community with grants for participation in national competitions and training. We will also extend the successful AFL SportsReady program to engage students in learning through ArtsReady.
"There's also an additional $10 million to support digital production and augment Screen Australia's development of multiplatform programs and distribution.
"This new screen funding, along with our previous commitment of $20 million for the creation of an Australian Interactive Games Fund, is about the development and distribution of Australian content in the context of this technological revolution and builds on the Convergence Review recommendations.
"The Government also commits to increase Australia's competitiveness as a world-class filming destination with a further $20 million incentive to bring international production to our shores.
"This is as a precursor to an increase in the Location Offset should the Australian dollar remain high. This new incentive fund is in addition to our investment in securing The Wolverine, and the current negotiations with Disney to secure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo."
We know young people are passionate about their music, design and the arts as they are about sport—we are giving them real opportunities to train for jobs in rapidly growing service and creative industries which build on this passion.
"I am very proud to release Creative Australia—a national cultural policy that is all about creating excellence, creating jobs, creating prosperity, creating opportunity and creating unique Australian stories," he said.
Read the full suite of Pathways for Action and initiatives in Creative Australia: creativeaustraliaculture.arts.gov.au.