NAVA warmly welcomes Labor’s new Arts Plan

Media Release

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) today expressed its appreciation of the Labor Party demonstrating the seriousness with which it is taking the arts agenda, by having its Leader, Bill Shorten launch a new policy position, alongside the Shadow Arts Minister, Mark Dreyfus.

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.

Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director of NAVA said today, “There are some very welcome gestures in this policy, most critically, the restoration of funding to the Australia Council to around 2013 levels. It's also good to see a reaffirmation of commitment to the model demonstrated by the Australia Council, as opposed to the Government’s deeply flawed and politicised Catalyst fund.”

NAVA has been one of the national peak bodies which has lost their funding as the result of the widespread carnage caused in particular to the small to medium arts organisations which form the core support infrastructure for innovative and experimental work by contemporary artists around the country. NAVA is gratified that Labor’s plan has affirmed the critical role played by small to medium arts organisations “that make the arts accessible to all Australians.

”We anticipate that this plan is the beginning of Labor setting a more serious and visionary course for Australia's cultural development, one that will include the kind of research effort and sector consultation that was put into developing Labor's sadly short lived Creative Australia policy,” Winikoff continued.

In particular, NAVA is calling for a binding standard agreement with the federal government, that fees be paid at least at the minimum recommended industry rates by all federal and state/territory government funded organisations to artists who have been commissioned or have loaned works for exhibition. Winikoff commented, “This will provide the kind of incentive and recognition for artists, that their work is valued and there is a real prospect of their being able to build sustainable lifelong careers.”

NAVA welcomed the indication in Labor’s plan that it will give very careful consideration before making any adjustments to the copyright regime. NAVA remains very concerned about recent proposals for the replacement of the current ‘fair dealing’ regime with a US style ‘fair use’ copyright environment which is causing such damage to the recognition and livelihoods of artistic creators in the overseas countries where it has been adopted.

“People who care about the arts should make their votes count by scrutinising the arts commitments, or lack of them, by all political parties. NAVA looks forward to working with Labor should it win the election, on growing a richer Australian culture,” concluded Winikoff.

For media comment and enquiries please contact:

Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director, NAVA 02 9368 1900