Cultural infrastructure included for the first time in new Australian Infrastructure Plan 

03 September 2021

Independent arts and culture think tank A New Approach (ANA) today welcomed the release of Infrastructure Australia’s 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan with its particular focus on the inclusion of cultural infrastructure in the Plan, a first in Australia’s history.

The Australian Government’s 2021 Infrastructure Plan follows the 2016 Plan and is intended to support our national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and other events that have impacted Australia in recent years such as the bushfires, floods and drought.

ANA CEO Kate Fielding said, “The inclusion of cultural infrastructure in the 2021 Plan is recognition of the significant value Australians place on access to arts and cultural experiences and the need to ensure all Australians can benefit from them, no matter where they live.

“We know from our research with both middle Australians and young middle Australians that they believe arts and cultural experiences build communities and can help both individuals and communities recover from trauma like the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms Fielding.

“Well considered and planned cultural infrastructure that is sustainable and adaptive improves access to these experiences and supports increased cohesion in our communities. It also supports the growth and employment opportunities in our creative industries aall levels. Properly resourcing both the construction and the operating phases of cultural infrastructure is crucial to securing the best return on investment now and into the future.”

As the Plan highlights, cultural infrastructure in all of its many forms plays an important role in community connectedness, social cohesion and sense of place. It is a critical part of our infrastructure and our economy and it is wonderful to see this recognised in the 2021 Plan.”

ANA welcomed the opportunity to be a participant in the development of the cultural infrastructure elements of the Plan and looks forward to further opportunities to provide independent advice to support the delivery of resilient cultural infrastructure for Australia.

New Approach acknowledges that it meets, works and travels on the lands of First Nations peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and to all First Nations peoples.