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Federal Budget Speech mentions ‘the arts’, first time this century

On Tuesday, the Australian Treasurer delivered the 2021-22 Federal Budget with a speech that included, for the first time in the twenty-first century, a mention of ‘the arts’.

A New Approach (ANA) has reviewed the budget speeches since 2000, and we believe this is the first time arts and culture has been specifically referred to in any federal budget speech since the turn of the century.

The reference to the arts and cultural industry occurs alongside several other industries that have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in employment. Many of Australia’s best-loved events and venues that bring people together to share cultural experiences had to cancel or substantially scale down activity in this period. This has had significant flow on effects for creators, operators and audiences as well as the industries which benefit from these types of activities, such as hospitality, accommodation and tourism.

The key measures related to arts and culture announced by the government can be viewed in full here.


A New Approach (ANA) is Australia’s leading arts and culture think tank. ANA champions the positive effects of arts, culture and creative activity in contemporary Australian society.

Media enquiries: 0403 682 426.

12 May 2021, A New Approach (ANA).