News & Commentary

Senate inquiry launched into Brandis’ arts raid

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Labor and the Greens have joined together to establish a Senate inquiry into Arts Minister George Brandis’ controversial, yet-to-be-established National Programme for Excellence in the Arts. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the inquiry is designed to hear from the arts community which has thus far been left out of the discussions.

The Senate passed a motion this afternoon in favour of the inquiry 34 votes in favour and 24 against. The Coalition does not support the inquiry.

Ludlam released the following statement this evening:

The Greens have combined with the Labor Party and Senate crossbenchers to initiate an inquiry into Senator George Brandis’ unprecedented raid on Commonwealth Arts funding.

“The Government sent shock waves through the arts community with its $105 million budget-night raid on the Australia Council. Senator Brandis has established his own Departmental funding pool with no guidelines and no evident purpose apart from to play favourites and undermine the independence of the Australia Council,” Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

“Senator Brandis told a Budget Estimates hearing that no arts organisations were consulted on the formation of his National Program for Excellence in the Arts, as though it sprang fully-formed from his brow. Now it is time to hear from the arts community how they will be impacted, where the cuts will hit hardest, and how we can protect arts funding from the kind of shallow politicisation that seems to infect everything this Government does,” Senator Ludlam said.

The committee is expected to issue a call for submissions and develop a program of hearings shortly.

Read more on Brandis’ Australia Council raid:

Australia Council cuts: the companies on the chopping block

Editorial: Shameful silence over arts cuts

The Brandis Heist

3 responses to “Senate inquiry launched into Brandis’ arts raid

  1. Maybe it’s time to stop hating on Brandis. I can see why you separated from Crikey- it’s because you wanted to create a website entirely devoted to some random bald guy

  2. Look everyone thought I was crazy for naming Australian Art as Government Art but all this Brandis stuff is proof positve that under the cloak of “hands off” there always lurked the hand of Government. Now we see the Obvious that Brandis and Bishop want a full on soft Foreign Affairs push for the Elitist 28 companies that no normal Australians can afford to see.

    And don’t belive Labor did much for the Arts, they didn’t. No stimulus package during the GFC from Rudd and Co then! And the same ammount of jobs were at stake then as now. Personally I feel that Brandis and Bishop have shown us how brutal Government can be. I say start a National Lottery for the Arts and Sciences as they have in UK. Its ok to want soft Cultural Diplomacy but wouldn’t that be a properly set up seperate fund using Foreign Affairs money? But of course the Liberals are all about desperately hanging onto their support base and contemplating an early Election so kicking leftie artists would please the over-superannuated.

    What a country Australia has become hey! Get ready for more soft moves to Dictatorship under Abbott as more decisions are handed to Government Ministers and bypassing the Courts. Soon there will be no separation of powers! Get ready Gang.

    1. Yes Scott,
      Australians are sometimes too laid back &are not really understanding how much their rights are being undermined. The separation of the powers is precisely that, so when a minister tries to make decisions themselves be it in regards to arts funding or dual citizenship people should be aware that it is the tip of the ice berg.
      Can some one please explain why Brandis is the economist of the decade please?

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