Arts and festivals sector in crisis requires budget package to thrive, not just survive


Today a Senate inquiry interim report into Australia’s national cultural policy has called for greater support to the Australian festivals sector to cope with rapidly rising overheads after a string of cancellations. The report also recommends legislative action on local content quotas for streaming giants as a matter of priority.

The Greens have called on the Albanese Government for an arts support package in Tuesday's federal budget to provide this much-needed support.

Greens spokesperson for the arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“The arts in Australia are being crunched in the cost of living crisis and they need support in Tuesday's Federal Budget.

“The Senate has heard compelling evidence that the Government should step in to mitigate the rapidly rising cost of overheads, like insurance premiums, particularly for those small, medium and local Australian music and arts festivals.

"This is not just about the big name, corporate backed festivals, but more importantly, it’s about supporting local and independent festivals.

“Live performance events bring significant economic benefits that flow through to jobs in hospitality, tourism, trades and other sectors. This would be a minor budget measure that would make a significant difference.

“I am hopeful that the Government will respond to the needs of the sector in next week’s budget.

On local screen content quotas for streaming giants, Senator Hanson-Young said:

“The Greens have long called for streaming giants like Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Stan to reinvest 20 percent of their Australian earnings in local content. It is vital that all Australians see themselves and their communities reflected on their screens.

“The Government had promised to have these quotas implemented by 1 July this year - legislation is now well and truly overdue. I urge the Government to introduce legislation as a matter of urgency.”