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Regional arts give more bang for funding buck

Media Release
Christine Milne 12 Jun 2013

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne is calling for a $10 million boost to the Regional Arts Fund in a move she says will provide a greater social return on investment than general arts funding.

"We know that funding regional arts delivers so much more for the dollar in terms of strengthening communities, but the regional fund was cut in 2008 and it has never recovered.

"Labor's recent National Cultural Policy announcement increased funding to just about all areas except regional arts.

"The Greens want to see an investment of $6 million to make up for past cuts, and an additional $4 million in recognition of the great value of the arts in regional areas.

"Arts projects give regional Australians a means to express their identity, explore local issues, strengthen communities and create jobs.

"A great example of a Tasmanian project that relied on regional arts funding was Big hART's binge-drinking short-film competition, which worked with north-west teenagers to teach film-making skills and then create shorts which explored the problem in way that was engaging and relevant to them.

"We'd like to see the extra funding used to employ local cultural officers as dedicated officers generally oversee a boom in the arts and help attract public and private money to the regions.

"Along with the funding boost we want to see a simplification of the grant requirements so artists are spending their time creating rather than battling with administration," Senator Milne said.

Regional Arts Australia Executive Director Jane Scott has welcomed the Greens announcement.

"Regional Arts Australia welcomes the Greens regional arts policy that advocates to restore the Regional Arts Fund and acknowledges the significant creative resource and network that exists in regional Australia," Ms Scott said.

You can read the full policy initiative paper here -
Creative Regions: Restoring Regional & Remote Arts - The Greens' plan for the arts to flourish in our regions

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