Greens arts spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today congratulated the Australian arts community for forcing new Arts Minister Mitch Fifield’s partial backdown on George Brandis’ NPEA. But Mr Bandt said the new Minister squandered his opportunity to restore the government's relationship with the arts sector by only tinkering with George Brandis' personal vanity project, not scrapping it, and called on Minister Fifield to go all the way by returning the full $104 million to the Australia Council.
“When George Brandis launched his attack on the arts, the arts community fought back and the new Minister, Mitch Fifield, has been forced to retreat," said Mr Bandt.
"However, Mitch Fifield's rebranding of George Brandis' cuts under a new moniker 'Catalyst' won't be enough to restore full funding and independence to Australian arts."
"A cut by any other name hurts just as much."
“The Greens are proud to have joined the arts community in fighting against George Brandis’ arts attack, but this is only a partial win."
"Mitch Fifield had the chance to end George Brandis' attacks on the arts once and for all with absolutely no cost to the Budget, but he has only returned a third of the funding cuts to the Australia Council."
"At the end of the day, if the Arts Minister remains the person deciding which arts project gets funding and which doesn't, this threatens the independence of Australian arts."
“For many organisations, this move will be too little, too late. By persisting with plans to set up a separate fund outside of the Australia Council, artists and small to medium arts organisations will ultimately have access to less funding.”
"The Greens will stand firm with the Australian arts community until the full funding is restored to the Australia Council. It's time that the curtains are closed on the personal vanity projects of this government's Arts Ministers once and for all."
Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054