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Congratulations to Richard Flanagan

15 October 2014

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has congratulated Richard Flanagan.

"Richard Flanagan is one of Australia's greatest writers. His win in the Man Booker 2014 with ‘the book he was born to write' is a fantastic acknowledgement of his literary brilliance. This is a moment for the whole nation to celebrate.

"Richard worked on this book for a long time and was profoundly influenced by his father's experiences as a prisoner of war on the Burma railway.

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Artistic Freedom

The hypocrisy is galling. Abbott government Minister George Brandis' invokes freedom of speech when advocating for a winding back of protections against racial vilification, and yet moves to censor artists wishing to criticise his government's appalling and cruel refugee policies.

Protection for hate speech and banning of conscience is now the Abbott government's signature arts policy.

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Abbott government’s political interference in the arts

The Australian Greens say the Minister for the Arts, Senator George Brandis, is engaging in political interference in the arts by threatening to withdraw funding.

"The Abbott government is trying to bully artists and the Australia Council because it can't handle criticism of its cruel refugee policies," Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"The arts should be completely free from political interference and the Abbott government's move to censure the Australia Council with threats and reviews is directly at odds with this.

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Supporting Young and Emerging Artists

The Greens want to ease the pressures on musicians, writers and artists to earn a living wage from their work. After all, creativity enriches everyone's lives. We have a plan to help young Australians forge lifelong careers in the creative industries.

The normal annual wage for a musician is a mere $8,100. Meanwhile, the average visual artist will work 42 hours a week for $35,000 a year. Many artists are forced into poverty and come under such pressure that they might give up their artistic aspirations altogether.

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Regional arts would boost territory: Greens

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne says the Greens plan to inject an additional $10 million in regional arts would provide a big boost to Territory communities.

"Regional arts give more bang for funding buck," Senator Milne said.

"Labor and the Coalition have ignored the value of regional arts but the Greens would restore funding to its peak, creating jobs and empowering communities.

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Let's Support Regional Arts

We want our regional communities, who are rightly proud of their unique identities, to be able to express their talents, their values and their stories.

That's why we'll invest an additional $10 million in regional arts funding.

We will invest $6 million to restore the Regional Arts Fund, in real dollars to its 2004 peak;

We will invest a further $4 million so that regional and remote local governments to establish ongoing employment positions whose job will be dedicated to artistic cultural development, like cultural development officers.

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Christine Milne's letter, Women of Letters

Letter to students at Devonport High School 1976-84

Dear past students of mine,

Do you remember an old portable record player, a vinyl LP recording of Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose and a classroom at Devonport High School some 30 years ago? A classroom in which your English teacher made you cry, as she herself cried, as we were all transported by Ed Welch's music and Spike Milligan's voice, to the Great Marsh on the Essex coast:

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Miles Franklin more rewarding without tax

Greens Leader Christine Milne has reiterated her call to stop taxing iconic arts award winners as this year’s Miles Franklin winner Michelle de Kretser was announced in Canberra today.

“It really takes the shine off winning this wonderful award that Michelle doesn't receive the full value of the prize.

"The Gillard government and Tony Abbott need to get their priorities right – taxing prize money for authors and artists raises very little revenue and makes no sense if we value Australia's artists." Senator Milne said.

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Regional arts give more bang for funding buck

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.

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