Art, politics, money: current issues for a revisited cultural policy

In this extract from the latest Currency House platform paper, David Throsby discusses important issues and areas for concern that are of continuing relevance to any discussion of cultural policy in Australia today.
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There are many lessons to be drawn from the sad meandering tale that represents the progress, if it can be called that, of Australian cultural policy over the last ten years. Some of these lessons are encouraging—for example, as Australians we have shown that we can indeed countenance a coherent national cultural policy if the mood so takes us. Some of the lessons are profoundly discouraging, such as the sense that good policy is fragile, it can be replaced by bad policy, and in the end does anyone really care? I want to pull together some of these lessons into an assessment of where we can go from here, but before doing so I shall discuss in this section some of the important issues and areas for concern that are of continuing relevance to any discussion of cultural policy in Australia today. The list of issues that I draw attention to below is selective rather than comprehensive, and is presented in no particular order of priority.

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David Throsby
About the Author
Professor David Throsby is Australia’s leading cultural economist. He is Professor of Economics at Macquarie University, has been a consultant to the World Bank, the OECD, FAO and UNESCO, and has chaired three Prime Minister’s Working Groups on sustainable development.
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