Australian Government releases national review of orchestras

14 March 2005, Australia

Australian Minister for the Arts, Senator Rod Kemp, has released the findings of a national review into the the country's orchestras. The report, entitled A New Era: The Orchestras Review 2005, examines a range of operational, marketplace, financial and governance issues confronting Australia's symphony and pit orchestras, making key recommendations that are designed to sustainability and long-term independence. Announcing the findings, Senator Kemp thanked the Review's Chair, Mr James Strong, for 'providing the Government with a report which so comprehensively addresses the difficult issues which are facing many of Australia's symphony orchestras.' 'The recommendations contained in this report cover issues such as the size of orchestras, governance, occupational health and safety, and artistic standards 'It is important that all governments, together with orchestra boards, management and musicians, work together now to build a more viable independent orchestral sector,' said the Senator. The review involved consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including musicians, orchestra boards and managers, government arts departments and agencies in each state and territory of Australia. 'The Australian Government provided $44 million to the orchestras in 2004, which constitutes around 78 per cent of total government support for orchestras. This significant level of funding reflects the contribution orchestras make to the musical life of Australia,' Senator Kemp said. 'The Australian Government will give close consideration to the report and its recommendations, and will continue to consult with state and territory governments in developing its response.' A copy of the report is available at: