Federal Election 2016
An overview of NAVA's work around the 2016 Federal Election.
An overview of NAVA's work around the 2016 Federal Election.
Make the arts count in the federal election. Here are some facts and figures and ways you can take action in the lead up to July 2.
Australia's cultural sector contributes $50 billion towards the country’s GDP including over $4.2 billion from the arts*, employs more than 124,000 people (both FT & PT workers)** and attracts more than two million international tourists a year*.
In the 2014 and 2015 federal budgets there have been major cuts of $300m dollars to government investment in the cultural sector including to the Australia Council for the Arts, screen and gaming sectors and our major cultural institutions.
The 2015 Federal Budget significantly reduced government funding available to independent artists and in the latest May 2016 round of Australia Council funding decisions, 65 previously funded small to medium arts organisations missed out on receiving key operational four-year funding. In the visual arts, of the 41 visual arts organisations which were previously funded from 2012, 22 have been defunded (including NAVA).
Recent ABS data also shows a loss of 16,000 jobs in the arts and recreation sector in the last 12 months.***
The 2015 Senate Inquiry into arts funding noted the absence of a coherent and clear arts policy supported by evidence-based analysis by the current government and recommended restoration of funding to the Australia Council diverted from it in the 2014 and 2015 budgets and MYEFO.
*Australia Council Arts Nation 2015 report
**Cunningham and Higgs’ analysis of Australian Census data
***ABS 2014-2015 data, available here
Today the result of the federal election is still unknown.
In the lead up to the election, NAVA advised "If care about the arts make sure your vote counts in this election by scrutinising the arts commitments, or lack of them, by all political parties. Read up on these before you head to the polls".
THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS' ARTS POLICY
The Australian Greens launched the first part of their arts policy on Monday 30th June. In the first part of the Greens’ arts policy announced during the election campaign, the Greens have propose plans to:
Later announcements will expand on tax incentives and financial support for artists and creative organisations
LABOR'S ARTS PLAN
Labor launched their Arts Plan on Saturday 4th June. Labor has promised to inject over $150 million in new investment in the arts to realise its plan for a more creative Australia. It recognises the importance of restoring the essential role of the arts and creative industries in Australia’s cultural and economic life, after the damaging disruption caused over the last two years by the Coalition Government’s cuts to the Australia Council, film and gaming industries and the major cultural institutions. Labor pledges to:
THE LNP ARTS POLICY
No policy has been released at this stage.
THE ARTS PARTY
The Arts Party has released its policy and among initiatives has called for:
Live Performance Australia has released its assessment of the major parties’ policy positions for the live performance industry in the lead-up to the federal election.
NAVA has outlined a number of key election arts policy recommendations for all political parties below.
1. Senate Inquiry
That all the recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into arts funding be implemented, especially:
- the need for all political parties to have well researched evidence based arts policies; and
- funding for the Australia Council to be restored at least to 2013 levels.
2. Artists Fees
Recommendation 2 (a)
That there be a binding standard agreement with the government through the Australia Council that fees be paid by all federal and state/territory government funded organisations to artists who have been commissioned or have loaned works for exhibition. These fees must be paid at least at the minimum recommended rates specified in the NAVA Code of Practice for the Professional Visual Arts, Craft and Design Sector.
That there be an increase in government funding of $3m/year specifically allocated for an Artists Fees Fund to assist underfunded arts organisations to have the capacity to pay. This should be administered on a needs basis by the Australia Council.
3. Small to Medium Arts Organisations (S2Ms)
That there be an increase of government funding to the S2Ms of $12m/year administered through the Australia Council, of which $3m should be specified for S2M visual arts organisations.
Recommendation 4 (a)
That the current ‘fair dealing’ regime be retained to ensure that IP creators' financial and moral rights are protected against abuse. This should not be replaced by the deeply flawed 'fair use’ system which has caused chaos and loss of rights for creators in other countries.
Recommendation 4 (b)
That the Artists Resale Royalty regime be continued without any diminution of its benefits paid to artists.
Recommendation 4 (c)
That copyright, design registration and patent legislation be changed to provide an accessible and affordable regime of protection for craftspeople and designers against unauthorised use or replication of their work and exploitation of their ideas.
Recommendation 5 (a)
That any government grants, fellowships, scholarships or awards to artists be tax exempt
Recommendation 5 (b)
That a change be made to the Non-Commercial Losses New Business Tax System (Integrity Measures) Act 2000 to raise the threshold for artists' income from other non-arts activities to at least $120,000, as one of the tests in making a determination about whether the artist is eligible to make income tax claims.
Recommendation 5 (c)
That it be permissible for the exhibition or display of artworks invested in by Self Managed Super Funds on their own or related premises rather than requiring the works to be stored unseen.
Recommendation 5 (d)
That there be introduction of tax incentives for the purchase of work by living Australian artists.
6. Social Security/Superannuation
Recommendation 6 (a)
That being an artist is recognised as a profession by Centrelink, and professional artists be assisted under the social security regime to build their capacity to earn income within their profession.
Recommendation 6 (b)
That a Cultural Social Security Fund be established to provide financial assistance in the form of a pension supplement to self-employed artists when their income falls below the minimum wage; once they are recognised as ‘self-employed professional artists' when assessed against arts industry standards.
7. Arts Education
Recommendation 7 (a)
That all five art forms (dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts & design) be included as mandatory in the national curriculum in schools for all children from pre-school up to year 6; and from year 7 to 10, it is mandatory for children be given the choice of learning at least 2 out of the five art forms each year, one of which should be visual arts and design. For this purpose secondary schools should be properly resourced with specialist arts teachers as required.
Recommendation 7 (b)
That an artist in schools program be established which provides each school with a continuing artists residency program.
8. Recognition and Respect
Recommendation 8 (a)
That there is an annual independently assessed Prime Ministerial Visual Artist Award of $100,000 and 5 other excellent artists are revered and rewarded annually as Living National Treasures.
Recommendation 8 (b)
That a three-year fellowship scheme is established for 20 selected mature art practitioners each year at the level of $80,000/year indexed annually.
Recommendation 8 (c)
That artists’ freedom of expression is protected through legislating a national Charter or Bill of Rights.
9. Emerging Artists
That the Australia Council’s ArtStart program be restored with direct funding from government of $5 million/year.
10. Arts Touring
That the funding for NETS Australia be restored and increased by $2 million/year
To make arts and culture an important issue for candidates they must hear voices within and beyond the arts sector raising their concerns for the current state of the Australian arts. The voters are your audiences, stakeholders, families and friends.
Actions you can take include:
Do you live in a marginal seat?
The above is particularly important if you live in a marginal seat as votes are more crucial in these seats and voters have a greater chance of affecting election outcomes. The AEC defines a "marginal" seat as one where "the leading party receives less than 56 per cent of the TPP vote. A swing of less than six percent is required for the seat to change hands.
NSW - 47 seats, 18 marginal
Banks, Barton, Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Gilmore, Greenway, Hunter/Charlton, Kingsford-Smith, Lindsay, Macarthur, Macquarie, McMahon, Page, Parramatta, Paterson, Reid, Richmond, Robertson
VIC - 37 seats, 14 marginal
Ballarat, Bendigo, Bruce, Chisholm, Corangamite, Deakin, Dunkley, Indi, Isaacs, Jagajaga, La Trobe, Melbourne, McEwen, Melbourne Ports
QLD - 30 seats, 14 marginal
Blair, Bonner, Brisbane, Capricornia, Fairfax, Forde, Griffith, Kennedy, Leichhardt, Lilley, Moreton, Oxley, Petrie, Rankin
WA - 16 seats, 6 marginal
Brand, Cowan, Durack, Fremantle, O'Connor, Perth
SA - 11 seats, 4 marginal
Adelaide, Hindmarsh, Makin, Wakefield
TAS - 5 seats, 4 marginal
Bass, Braddon, Franklin, Lyons
NT - 2 seats, 2 marginal
Search for your local candidates:
Tuesday 2 August
Tamara Winikoff will join a panel of speakers including Michael Lynch, Nick Atkins and Lily Shearer to discuss the 'State of the Arts' as part of the Sydney Opera House's Culture Club.
Saturday 2 July 2016
You have checked each party's arts policies and voted. Now we wait for the results.
Friday 1 July 2016
NAVA delivered the 'Art Changes Lives' petition to the PM Malcolm Turnbull, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, Arts Minister Senator Mitch Fifield, Shadow Arts Minister Mark Dreyfus, Leader of the Australian Greens Senator Richard di Natale and Greens arts spokesperson Adam Bandt, Senator Nick Xenophon and leader of the Arts Party, PJ Collins. Over 18,000 people signed the petition to show their support for Australian arts here. This was in addition to the 10,000 theatre audience members who sent postcards to their local member with the same message.
Tuesday 28 June 2016 Arts and Cultural Policy Forum
On Tuesday 28 June, Senator Nick McKim (Australian Greens), Senator Catryna Bilyk (Australian Labor Party), Mr Andrew Wilkie MP (Independent Member for Denison), and a Liberal Party candidate, informed the community about their visions and policies for the arts, culture and creative industries in Tasmania, ahead of the Federal election.
Monday 27 June 2016 Let's Talk Futures
This NAVA/Artspace event took further the issues raised at the first ‘Let's Talk’ town hall-style public discussion which again was held in the seminar space on the 2nd floor of the Gunnery building in Sydney. Speakers included Dr Paula Abood, Vernon Ah Kee, Abdul Abdullah, Barry Keldoulis, Bec Dean, Alexie Glass-Kantor and Tamara Winikoff. Further 'Let's Talk' events will be announced shortly.
Wednesday 8 June 2016, 1pm-3pm National Arts Debate at the Wheeler Arts Centre
ArtsPeak organised a National Arts Election Debate to bring the arts leaders of each of the major parties together to share their big ideas and respond to the burning questions of industry leaders and commentators from across the industry. Patricia Karvelas (ABC and Sky News) moderated the three cornered contest. Arts Minister Senator Mitch Fifield, and Shadow Arts Minister Mark Dreyfus and Greens Arts Spokesperson, Adam Bandt presented their parties' plans.
Monday 30 May 2016 Let's Talk
NAVA and Artspace hosted a ‘town hall’ public discussion exploring the current arts funding landscape. Speakers were: arts advocate Michael Lynch, artist Janet Laurence, Esther Anatolitis, Regional Arts Victoria, Ross Harley, head of UNSW Art & Design, Evan Hughes, Labor candidate for Wentworth, NSW, Alexie Glass-Kantor, Artspace, Tamara Winikoff OAM, NAVA, and Katrina Douglas, PACT. Seminar Room, 2nd floor, The Gunnery.
Are you organising actions or events we should know about? Email email@example.com and we’ll add it to this page and let our networks know.
NAVA's media releases
Election Message - Art Changes Lives, 30 June
Open letter to Turnbull in response to his statements this week on Q&A, 24 June 2016
NAVA warmly welcomes Labor’s new Arts Plan, 6 June 2016
NAVA warmly welcomes the Greens' arts policy, 30 May 2016
Week of 4 July
Ben Neutze, How did Australia's first ever Arts Party perform at its first Federal Election?, Daily Review, 4 July 2016
Week of 27 June
Recent funding cuts to the arts cause deep wounds, Art Almanac, 30 June 2016
Australian Arts Community Protests $224 Million Cut to Federal Arts Budget, ArtForum, 29 June 2016
Claire Voon, Australian Arts Community Campaigns Against Federal Budget Cuts, Hyperallergic, 28 June 2016
Editorial: A vote for Coalition is a vote against the arts, Daily Review, 29 June 2016
Matthew Westwood, Political parties united in their funding support for the arts, The Australian, 28 June 2016
Tony Moore, Turnbull's 'innovation boom' is not possible without the Arts says Senate Candidate, My Sunshine Coast, 26 June 2016
Live Performance Australia Slams Turnbull over Q&A Answers, Daily Review, 23 June 2016
Week of 20 June
Matthew Westwood, Live Performance Australia disputes Turnbull funding claim on Q&A, The Australian, 23 June
Christopher Harris, Curtain call for City arts incubators, City News, 23 June 2016
Suzy Keen, SA arts advocates ramp up political campaign, InDaily, 22 June 2016
Christian Morrow, EDITORIAL: Stand with the arts in our community, Byron Shire News, 22 Jun 2016
Spencer Howson, The arts in the federal election spotlight thanks to Katie Noonan, ABC, 21 June 2016
Week of 13 June
Desirée Savage, Merrigong Theatre joins #istandwiththearts campaign, Illawarra Mercury, 18 June 2016
National Arts Day of Action: latest happenings, ArtsHub, 17 June
Art Changes Lives. Here's why we need to fund the arts, FBI radio, 17 June
Michaela Boland, Federal election 2016: actors to mobilise against cuts, The Australian, 17 June 2016
Dee Jefferson, Actors stand up for the arts, TimeOut Sydney, 17 June 2016
Heather McNab, Hugo Weaving, Robyn Nevin and Kate Mulvany don’t want a standing ovation — they want to take a stand against cuts, CENtRAL, 16 June 2016
Matthew Westwood, Arts groups, artists rally against funding cuts, The Australian, 16 June 2016
Stephen Bevis, Artists crash the election party, The West Australian, 16 June 2016
Debbie Cuthbertson and Andrew Taylor, Election 2016: National day of action kicks off campaign against 'ritual sacrifice of the arts, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 June
Debbie Cuthbertson, Federal Election 2016: Nationals vow $10m for new Shepparton Art Museum amid battle with Liberals, The Age, 16 June 2016
Andrew Taylor, Election 2016: Arts sector launches National Day of Arts Action campaign, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June
Steph Harmon, National day of action: art and theatre join forces to make culture an election issue, The Guardian, 15 June
Dee Jefferson, Love the arts? Prove it this Friday, TimeOut Sydney, 15 June
Richard Watts, National day of action to be held this Friday, ArtsHub, 15 June
Art Almanac, National Day of Action – Support the Arts, 15 June
Week of 6 June
Deborah Stone, No clear winner but a clear loser, ArtsHub, 9 June 2016
Matthew Westwood, Fifield, Dreyfus and Bandt discuss party policy on arts, The Australian, 9 June 2016
Sasha Grishin, Labor steals a march on the arts, The Age, 9 June 2016
Debbie Cuthbertson, Arts for the dole? Greens propose living wage for creatives as part of election policy, SMH, 8 June 2016
Sally Bennett, Upheaval puts arts on election agenda, Herald Sun, 8 June 2016
Debbie Cuthbertson, No more starving artists? Greens propose living wage for creatives as part of arts election policy, The Age, 8 June 2016
Ben Eltham, Totally coincidentally, noisy critics of arts cuts miss out on funding, Daily Review, 8 June 2016
Greens propose a create for the dole scheme, Daily Review, 8 June 2016
Matthew Westwood, Libs need to lift the curtain, The Australian, 7 June 2016
Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Minister for the Arts on RN Books and Arts, 7 June 2016
David Pledger, What you need to know ahead of the National Arts Debate, ArtsHub, 7 June 2016
Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts with Patricia Karvelas on RN Drive, 6 June 2016
Week of 30 May
Andrew Taylor, Election 2016: Labor pledges $60 million to ABC, but won't rule out changes to copyright, SMH, 4 June 2016
Gabrielle Chan, Arts funding: Labor vows to scrap 'ministerial slush fund’, The Guardian, 4 June 2016
Sarah Martin, Federal election 2016: Bill Shorten pledges $160m arts boost, The Australian, 4 June 2016
Richard Watts, Labor boosts funding in new arts policy, Arts Hub, 4 June 2016
John Kelly, Do artists deserve their own tax regime, Daily Review, 1 June 2016
Gina Fairley, How to lobby for the arts in Election 2016, Arts Hub, 1 June 2016
Sinead Stubbins, The Greens Have Pledged An Extra $270 Million To The Arts To Counter The Government Cuts, Junkee, 30 May 2016
Sid Maher, Federal election 2016: vow to reverse arts council cuts, The Australia, 30 May 2016
Week of 23 May
Suzie Keen, Arts campaigners target Hindmarsh, InDaily, 27 May 2016
Week of 16 May
Alison Croggon, The 70% drop in Australia Council grants for individual artists is staggering, The Guardian, 19 May 2016
For the most up to date media you can also follow us on Facebook here.
We need your support to be able to continue this great work we do. NAVA has been defunded and we no longer have Australia Council four-year funding for our operations from 2017. If you can make a donation, your gift will ensure our ability to help you and others in the sector.
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