It seems arts funding has become an election issue: on last night’s Q&A, musician, composer and new artistic director of Queensland Music Festival Katie Noonan asked the Prime Minister if he would commit to funding a strong and independent Australia Council for the Arts.
The Prime Minister initially stated that there was more money available to the Australia Council now than there was under the Rudd-Gillard Labor governments (the Australia Council’s budget is actually more than $20 million smaller in this financial year than it was in the final year of Labor).
He also defended the integrity of the controversial Catalyst fund and stated that its funding had almost entirely gone to regional companies. According to the Arts Ministry website, only 37% of the funds have gone to projects in regional/remote areas, 38% to metropolitan areas and 24% to international activities. The biggest recipient is the Australian Ballet, which received $1 million to redevelop the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre in central Melbourne.
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) June 20, 2016