Home » Arts Budget Boost Must Yield Quality Jobs: MEAA

Arts Budget Boost Must Yield Quality Jobs: MEAA

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance welcomes the federal government’s continued efforts in the 2023-24 Budget to revive Australia’s long-neglected arts, cultural and media sectors.

Overall for the cultural sector, the Budget was a steady one with few major funding announcements and no nasty surprises.

The highlight this year is a $115.2 million commitment for the Australia’s major arts training and educational institutions which includes the likes of NIDA and AFTRS.

“This funding is a much-needed investment in the next generation of performers and screen professionals,” said MEAA Chief Executive Erin Madeley.

“But this must be followed up with additional funding support quality jobs on graduation with secure employment, good pay and conditions and safe and inclusive workplaces.

“A viable creative sector cannot exist if the workforce does not have quality jobs that provide a sustainable career in the arts and entertainment”.

For Australia’s ailing music sector, the government has committed a one-off $8.6 million ‘Revive Live’ package to support live music venues and festivals that showcase Australian bands and artists. The Budget also announced $5.2 million to support the Canberra and Darwin Symphony Orchestras which includes a commitment of $1.3 million of ongoing funding per year to ensure the sustainability of these orchestras.

In welcoming the new funding, Ms Madely said MEAA would continue to advocate for more action to secure decent conditions and pay for all live music performers.

“In addition to providing much needed support to our orchestras, we call on the government to finally commit to a $250 minimum payment for musicians and performers who perform at government funded events”.

Australia’s screen industry is being supported by a commitment of $14.5 million over four years to the Australian Children’s Television Foundation to increase development and production of Australian children’s television content.

The Budget also flagged the government’s changes to the Producer Tax offset. The government intends to remove the minimum length requirements for content, and the above-the-line cap of 20%of total qualifying production expenditure.

The Australian Associated Press (AAP) will receive assistance with the government committing $12 million this year to help secure the viability of this important news-gathering organisation.

The ABC and SBS are set to receive minor funding boosts over the coming financial year. In October 2023 the government announced consultation on funding a new round of the News Media Assistance Program (NewsMAP). No new funding appears to have been made in the Budget, however MEAA awaits the government’s response to the consultations.

We note the government’s funding of a range of initiatives regarding regulation of AI to protect and strengthen consumer and copyright laws. MEAA welcomes this investment, and we look forward to engaging with the government to ensure that workers have a seat at the table as they develop their regulatory framework.

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