Queensland still sold short with federal arts funding framework changes

Queensland still sold short with federal arts funding framework changes

Queensland Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch has called on the federal government to play a larger role in arts funding for Queensland.

As national consultation for the Major Performing Arts (MPA) Framework opens, Minister Enoch said she welcomed the next-stage review of the outdated framework, but said more action was needed.

“I encourage everyone in the arts sector to have their say on this framework,” she said.

“I acknowledge the paper’s reflections on enabling greater transparency, accountability, and the introduction of a level of contestability.

“What I don’t support is this inability to resolve fundamental issues of funding inequity in the MPA model, and the suggestion states would need to continue to invest at current levels without more support from the federal government.

“Queensland is the most disadvantaged state through the MPA Framework. For every dollar our government invests, only 77 cents are invested at a federal level.

“In 2016-17, the Palaszczuk Government put $12.6 million into the framework for our four MPA organisations: Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Theatre.”

Ms Enoch said the consultation paper fails to address the fundamental issue that Queensland represents 20 per cent of Australia’s population, but received only nine per cent of federal funding in 2017 through the framework.

“This inequity means we have to do the heavy lifting in terms of supporting our MPA organisations, resulting in less available funding to support and grow our vital small-to-medium sector,” she said.

“If the Federal Government provided Queensland with its fair share of arts funding, it would free up investment for us to increase the significant economic and social outcomes achieved by the sector across the state.

“Queensland deserves equitable funding, and not to be overlooked for Sydney and Melbourne.

“That’s why I am calling on Queenslanders to present their views on the proposed framework amendments, and send a strong message to Canberra calling for fairer funding, by attending a face-to-face consultation in Brisbane on 25 October.

“The Palaszczuk Government understands the power of the arts not just as a valuable way to tell our stories and connect communities, but also to develop the critical skills needed for a growing knowledge economy that creates jobs and delivers significant social outcomes.

“Since being elected in 2015, this government has restored funding to the arts sector, with an additional $340 million committed to support the arts in Queensland.

“Our arts companies and artists are leading the way in innovation, but, unfortunately, federal arts investment into Queensland is not keeping pace.”

For more information on the MPA Framework consultation and the face-to-face consultation session in Brisbane on 25 October, visit http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/programs-and-resources/major-performing-arts-framework/.

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