Australia Council Funding Cuts - National Call to Action

Take Action to Protect Australian Arts from Deadly Cuts

Further actions you can take. A message from our friends at Feral Arts:


Take Action to Protect Australian Arts from Deadly Cuts

The key problems facing the arts sector at a national level are chronic under funding and the lack of a credible, evidence-based policy framework.

Despite a failure to grow investment in arts and culture in the last federal budget or to develop a national arts and cultural policy to replace the one he axed last year, federal Arts Minister George Brandis has recklessly cut $104.8m over 4 years from the Australia Council to establish a new National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA) under his own control as Arts Minister.

This move puts extraordinary pressure on artists, funding agencies and philanthropists across the country. Inexplicably it comes just months into the implementation of the new Australia Council strategic plan that Senator Brandis publicly launched last August. Initiatives like NPEA have no strategic connection to the new plan and seriously undermine the capacity of the Australia Council to deliver. $240m per year of leveraged investment is at serious risk just as a result of the suspension of six year funding for small to medium companies.

We call on Senator Brandis to put an immediate halt to his current actions in order to limit the growing damage to the arts sector and communities across the country. Senator Brandis needs to urgently consult with the sector and key stakeholders including the state arts agencies and the philanthropic bodies as first step to developing an inclusive, coherent, evidence-based solution that grows arts and culture in Australia.

Small to medium arts companies are in serious danger.

The federal budget is set to pass through the Lower House next week containing 30% cuts to the Australia Council.

If the proposed changes are implemented, the axe will fall on grants to small to medium arts organisations (S2M) and individual artists. Current government announcements show that the NPEA will not provide multi-year operational funding for S2M companies. Similarly, since suspending its new six year program the Australia Council has not made any public commitment to supporting multi-year operational funding for small to medium arts companies. State and territory arts agencies are also yet to confirm any commitment to multi-year operational funding for the S2M sector.

We need to get active and vocal right now to save the small to medium sector from extinction.

Arts jobs and income are at stake

Under its new strategic plan the Australia Council had allocated $30m to the vitally important six year organisations funding program. Australia Council data shows that in the trial of the six year funding model with the 11 Key Producer companies (2008 - 2013), these companies leveraged on average an additional $8 of income for every $1 invested by the Australia Council. Without the security of six year funding from the Australia Council this leveraging is not achievable.

If the $30m investment by the Australia Council in six year funding for small to medium companies does not go ahead as planned what is actually at risk is $240m/year of leveraged funds or a staggering total of $1.44 billion over the next six years.

This equates to 1,000s of lost jobs in communities across the country - THE IMPACT OF THIS IS HUGE and we need to get the message out across the country.

ACTIONS: How you can make a difference

Mapping Project

Data about the impact is being gathered to present to the major political parties in Canberra next week.

You can contribute your data to a national mapping project. All project and six year applicants to the Australia Council should contribute.

Letter writing and MP meetings

If you haven't already written to your local member and both the federal and state arts minister and the PM, you should do it now.

You should also organise to meet with your local federal member and specifically ask them to raise this issue with the federal Arts Minister as a matter of urgency.

The Australia Council meets in Sydney next Thursday 18th June. You should email NOW to Australia Council chair Rupert Myer and CEO Tony Grybowski calling for the Council to stand up for the small to medium sector and give a binding commitment to the six year funding program and support for individual artists.

Local media stories:

We need more stories in local newspapers about the impact of the cuts to the Australia Council budget.

Email if you want help.

Canberra Delegation - National Day of Action -18th June

You can join a whole of arts sector delegation gathering at Parliament House Canberra next Thursday to meet with each of the major parties. If you would like to join the delegation or contribute to the joint statement email

If you can't make it to Canberra but want to get involved in local actions go to:


if you haven't signed the petition yet please do so

Art of Brandis

No better tonic than the sublime


#holdontoarts:!ac... Take the time to take your photo, your team's photo, your artist friends photo and get it online by 15 June! Use your spaces – studios, rehearsal rooms, regional/urban landscapes as your backdrop to showcase the diverse activities and communities we work in and with.

For more information please email