What’s a new National Cultural Policy for?

Do we need a National Cultural policy? Well yes, says Scott O'Hara. But the Discussion Paper's vision for the future is a relief to anyone worried that a new policy was actually going to change things.
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Do we need a National Cultural policy? Well yes – “Currently the Australian Government spends more than $740 million per annum directly on arts activity through the Office for the Arts and related portfolio agencies” (National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper 2011) under broad groupings of culture, Arts and Creative Industries. At the very least there should be an articulated vision and a coherent set of strategies driving that investment. There is no way any other area of the economy would be willing to see Government interference in its market without a rationale for doing so. An articulate policy should also provide a sense that that something will actually be achieved as a result of that expenditure.

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Scott O'Hara
About the Author
Scott O’Hara is the recently appointed CEO of Accessible Arts. He has 25 years’ experience in Arts Management including roles in all three levels of Government, the education and community cultural development sectors, and was the Chair of Arts Training NSW for five years. He previously wrote the regular opinion column ‘The C-Word’ on the Community Arts Sector for Arts Hub. The opinions and views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Accessible Arts.