Welcoming 2024-25 Budget investment to nurture Australia’s creative future 

15 May 2024

National think tank, A New Approach (ANA), today welcomes new investment in arts and culture delivered through the Federal Budget 2024-25.

Arts and culture measures announced in the 2024-25 Budget across several portfolios included: support for First Nations language learning; investment in national arts training organisations; support for Australian children’s screen content; targeted support for the National Film and Sound Archive as well as the Canberra and Darwin symphony orchestras; and investment in enhanced cultural relations between France and Australia under the Australia-France Roadmap. There are also initiatives focused on promoting Australian TV stations and content, on classification, on support for Australian Associated Press, and support for cultural access and participation, as well as ongoing investment in the public broadcasters, national collecting institutions, Creative Australia and Screen Australia.

CEO of ANA, Kate Fielding, reflected that the Federal Government’s commitments in the 2024-25 Budget recognise that creative skills drive innovation and growth, with Australia’s cultural and creative industries innovating directly and also diffusing innovation across other industries.

“We welcome every investment in arts and culture and thank the Federal Government for these commitments, noting the Treasurer highlighted in his Budget speech that we need to tap Australians’ creativity for future prosperity,” she said.

“However, we do have questions about the future. Fifteen years of data shows that investment by the Federal Government in arts and culture has not kept pace with population growth, with per-capita investment in arts and culture declining from $144 per person in 2007-08 to $114 in 2021-22.

“Against this background, it is concerning that the 2024-25 Budget states within forward estimates a decrease in total ‘arts and cultural heritage expenses’.”

Ms Fielding urged governments at all levels to work strategically with industry, philanthropy and community groups to help secure Australia’s potential as a cultural powerhouse.

“In challenging economic and social times working together is essential. We have a national responsibility to strategically plan and nurture our nation’s creative future. The investment announced in the Budget, and the active policy development and delivery that is occurring across many states, territories and local governments, is a good start, but there is still more to be done,” said Ms Fielding.

“We believe that Australia needs a Ministerial Council reporting to National Cabinet to ensure that investment in our cultural and creative industries is collaborative, equitable and sustained and that all Australians, no matter where they live, can benefit from arts and culture.

“We look forward to the continued implementation of the National Cultural Policy to secure sustainable and thriving cultural and creative industries that can deliver for the Australian public.”

Ms Fielding highlighted that participation in arts and culture builds connection in our communities, while training in creativity boosts innovation and fosters the creative leaders of the future.

“With social cohesion at its lowest on record, all Australians should have access to arts and culture in a way that is meaningful to them. ANA’s research with middle Australians revealed they expect governments to invest in our cultural and creative industries for the benefit of all communities,” said Ms Fielding.

“The everyday Australians we spoke to also see value in cultural experiences and creative skills development to ensure their children can thrive in the twenty-first century. They expressed a clear desire for all Australian children to have these opportunities.

“The challenges of the last five years have impacted the capacity of our cultural and creative industries to operate and grow, and have also limited access to cultural experiences and creative activities that we know are critical to helping connect people and communities across our nation. These impacts are still being felt today.”

Find out more about A New Approach (ANA).

For media enquiries please contact Alexandra Nichols 0431 468 665 or alexandra.nichols@newapproach.org.au.

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.