What the Arts got from Budget 2019

The Morrison Government’s 2019-2020 budget highlights the Government’s lack of vision for our cultural sector.
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s pre-election budget provides a $393.7 million boost for the arts and communications portfolio but simultaneously demonstrates the Morrison Government’s lack of interest and understanding of the sector.

Arts and culture contributes $50 billion to Australia’s GDP annually (based on figures for 2012–13 provided by the Australia Council) but since coming to power in 2013, successive Liberal-National Coalition governments have consistently failed to create a national cultural policy to support and grow the sector and magnify its cultural and economic impact.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021.

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