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News May 14, 2019

LPA’s pre-election arts and culture policy report cards are out

Senior Journalist, B2B
LPA’s pre-election arts and culture policy report cards are out

Live Performance Australia has handed down its report cards, and it’s clear the nation’s politicians haven’t been paying attention.

Just in time for this Saturday’s federal election, LPA today published its analysis of the major political parties’ arts and cultural policies. In a nutshell, there’s room for improvement for the Labor Party, Scott Morrison’s government must “try harder,” and the Greens get a fail.

As the election campaign hit full swing, clear differences have marked Labor and the Coalition’s approach to supporting Australia’s cultural industries, notes LPA’s CEO Evelyn Richardson in a statement accompanying the report cards.

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The ALP gets a tick for “convening a creative economy summit” and a partial tick for developing a “bold vision and strategy for the cultural and creative industries, backed with a significant investment package.” In both these fields, the Coalition earn a nought. Neither party has got behind provide tax incentives on pre-production costs for live productions or the creation of a major seed fund for original Australian works of scale.

Based purely on ticks and crosses, Labor’s arts and culture credentials easily outperform those of the Liberal-Nationals Coalition.

“Too much time and effort has been spent in recent years trying to repair the damage from the Coalition’s cuts to funding and the Catalyst experiment, which has detracted from a stronger focus on building a confident and creative Australia,” Richardson said.

The Coalition, says the LPA, hasn’t even put forward a comprehensive cultural policy, though it has pledged support for Australian live music. That’s in stark contrast to Labor’s Renewing Creative Australia, unveiled on Saturday, which the LPA and its chief said represented a “welcome step” in the right direction.

“We need to significantly raise the ambition for cultural policy, and provide creative Australians with the policy and funding certainty to help them flourish at home and internationally,” Richardson remarks.

After the votes are tallied, there’s an the opportunity for a “bolder, robust and clear vision for our cultural industries that reflects their size and importance in terms of jobs and economic activity,” she adds, addressing the potential to “do much more in the area of incentives for content creation and production that will attract and stimulate investment in the sector.”

Read the LPA’s Federal Election Arts & Cultural Policy report cards.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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