Budget Review 2022–23 Index
Andrew Banfield & Philip Hamilton
Budget Paper 2 outlines that ‘the government will provide an
additional $38.3 million over 2 years from 2021–22 to support the arts sector’
(p. 131). However, Budget Paper 1 notes that expenses for arts and cultural
heritage are ‘estimated to decrease 10.6% in real terms from 2021–22 and
decrease by 13.1% in real terms from 2022–23 to 2025–26’ (p. 161). This
decrease appears to be largely a consequence of the cessation of the Restart
Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.
As part of the COVID-19 recovery package, RISE was first
announced in June 2020 to help the ‘arts and entertainment sector to
reactivate’. The initial amount was $75 million with a further $125 million
announced in March 2021. The competitive grant program provides funding to arts
and entertainment organisations to stage festivals, concerts, tours,
exhibitions, and events. The Fund allows for employment opportunities including
the retention of artists and skilled workers.
An additional $20 million is allocated to RISE in the
2022–23 budget, with the Minister indicating that the Fund will conclude on 30
September 2022 (p. 131). To
date, RISE has supported 541 projects, and supported more than 213,000
jobs. According to The
Over the last two years, the arts were valued by the federal
government to the extent that they were able to be used to stimulate the
The assumption appears to be that, now that the creative and
cultural industries have received a $200 million shot in the arm, they will now
be able to stand back up and walk on their own two feet – and help those
businesses around them do likewise.
It doesn’t appear the RISE Fund, and its ultimate decision
making power by the minister, is a template for the future of arts funding in
any literal sense because it is due to disappear.
But it may have changed the culture of arts funding in this
country, explicitly focusing funding on cultural activities and initiatives
informed by an overtly commercial mindset.
National cultural institutions
Some cultural institutions will see increases in their
appropriations in 2022–23. In a measure announced since the 2021 MYEFO, the National Museum of Australia has been
allocated $3.5 million in 2021–22 and $5.8 million in 2022–23 as part of the ‘COVID-19
Response Package – additional arts sector support’ (PBS
p. 391). The Australia Council for
the Arts, the Government’s primary arts funding and advisory body, will see
a rise in funding from $219.8 million in 2021–22 to $230.8 million by 2025–26 (PBS
p. 109). Similarly, the National Film and
Sound Archive will see an increase from $28.0 million in 2021–22 to $31.3
million by 2025–26 (PBS
p. 333). The National Portrait Gallery will largely maintain its
current government funding levels out to 2025–26 (PBS
p. 410), as will the Museum of Democracy
at Old Parliament House (PBS
However, Government funding to other institutions will
significantly decrease over the forward estimates. Appropriations for the Australian War Memorial are forecast to
decrease from $46.1 million in 2021–22 to $41.3 million in 2025–26 (PBS
p. 87). In a measure announced since the 2021 MYEFO, Screen Australia has been
allocated $9 million in 2021–22 as part of the ‘COVID-19 Response Package –
additional arts sector support’, but with the conclusion of a two-year period
of additional funding will see its appropriations reduce from $39.5 million in
2021–22 and $27.8 million in 2022–23 to about $11.7 million in each of the
forward estimates years. (PBS
p. 481). Despite receiving a $3 million increase in the coming financial year, the
National Library will subsequently face an
almost $14 million (22%) decline in appropriations in 2023–24. The National Gallery will see appropriations decrease,
albeit less so, from $50 million in 2021–22 to $46 million in 2025–26 (PBS
p. 351). The Library’s 2021–22
Budget Review discussed funding estimates for cultural institutions to
2024–25 (see ‘Media, arts and sport).
Prior to the Budget, the retiring former speaker of the
House of Representatives, Tony Smith, used one of his last speeches in
Parliament to plead
for more funding for the National Archives. However, no additional funding
was announced for the National Archives
in the Budget. New money was announced in the December 2021 MYEFO, including
$9.6 million in 2022–23, $8 million in 2023–24 and $7.9 million in 2024–25.
These funds are for the Preserving
Australia’s Cultural Heritage program, which facilitates the digitisation
of historic records. It is worth noting that the overall appropriation level
declines in the forward estimates from $77.8 million in 2021-22 to $70.9
million in 2025–26. A new Director-General,
Simon Froude, will commence his five-year term in May 2022.
A National Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Cultural Precinct, Ngurra, will be established in the Parliamentary
Triangle in Canberra. Construction will be funded by $316.5 million over 5
years from 2021–22. The Ngurra Precinct will also become the new location of
the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
(AIATSIS) (p. 163). Ngurra and AIATSIS are discussed in more detail in the ‘Indigenous
Affairs: health, culture and language, housing, justice and safety’ article in
this Budget Review.
All online articles accessed April 2022
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