Advocacy, policy and action for an Australian arts sector that's ambitious and fair

NAVA releases Election Report Card

UPDATED 14.05.2019 to reflect latest campaign commitments.

Today NAVA releases its Election Report Card as part of an impactful day of arts advocacy harnessing the voices of NAVA Members, artists and the creative community from all across Australia.

“When we reflect on the state of Australia’s culture in 2019, this has been a deeply concerning election campaign, with personal slurs and poor behaviour capturing headlines and displacing policy debate,” said NAVA Executive Director Esther Anatolitis. “What’s needed in Australia as a matter of urgency is to return our focus to the practitioners who lead our culture and create our future. 

“So what cultural vision are the major parties offering?

“While the Liberal Party have not made any specific arts policy announcements, commitments announced in budgets include $498m to redevelop the Australian War Memorial, $50m towards a Captain Cook statue on the site of First Nations peoples first encounter, and also some tourism measures outside of the arts portfolio.

“These commitments celebrate the culture of colonial and military Australia, creating enduring symbols that foster pride in conflict and conquest as definitive of the Australian identity.

“Australian Labor have committed to redressing the detrimental impacts of recent policy and funding change by restoring cuts made since 2014. Such investment is urgent given the decline in artist incomes, career prospects and numbers, as evidenced via Australia Council research.

“These commitments invest in opportunities for Australia’s artists to create work that fosters the diverse culture of contemporary Australia as definitive of our identity.

“We understand that Labor will be launching a comprehensive arts policy on Saturday 11 May and we look forward to responding to that policy, as well as the policies of any other parties yet to make their commitments known.

“The Greens have also recommitted to their long-held principles on arts and culture by releasing a policy that addresses fair pay for artists, games development and artists in schools.

“These commitments address the supports that artists need to make great new work, including making sure that artists are supported by a living wage.

“Artists work with rigour, focus and integrity. A nation’s arts policy is its clearest expression of confidence in its own potential – as well as its confidence in the expertise of artists to define what’s possible as they create our future.

“Arts policy and funding commitments made ahead of next Saturday’s election afford each party a final opportunity to set this right.”

NAVA leads policy, advocacy and action for a contemporary arts sector that’s ambitious and fair. The NAVA Report Cards are compiled using publicly available campaign information and election commitments made to date by the three major parties.

“The NAVA Election Report Cards offer a snapshot of policy highlights and commitments made during the campaign period of state and federal elections, as well as policy direction announced at our agenda-setting event Australian Cultural Policy: The Next Decade in partnership with Monash University’s Masters of Cultural & Creative Leadership.

“In examining the promises of each party, look for what’s a new commitment and what’s a re-statement of funding already confirmed by the Australian Government. Where the Report Card shows a blank space, we welcome party representatives to make public commitments, or to contact NAVA directly.

“This election year, NAVA calls on all parties to Invest in Artistic Courage.”

Australia goes to the polls next Saturday 18 May.

Federal Election Report Card 2019