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Senate Inquiry flooded with submissions

Arts Hub, Richard Watts

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The inquiry into the impact of Senator Brandis’ raid on the Australia Council budget has received more than 2000 submissions.

Nicole Beyer, Director of Theatre Network Victoria (TNV), said the high number of submissions showed that artists and arts organisations around the country were ​deeply concerned about the future of the arts.

‘They want to make sure that the devastating impact that the budget decisions will have on their practice is understood by the government. TNV’s members in particular, are the independents and small companies who feel that the value of their work has been completely disregarded in this budget decision. The government can’t ignore this response – they have to really start to engage with us now and answer some questions,’ Beyer said.

‘TNV has been working with our colleagues to advocate that more public hearings are held – with such a large number of submissions, we need to make sure there is an opportunity to fully unpack how this budget decision was made, on what basis the new NPEA was established, and how the cuts to the Australia Council will impact on the arts sector as a whole.’ ​

Announced in June, the Senate Inquiry will examine the suitability and appropriateness of the National Program for Excellence in the Arts, following the reappropriation of Australia Council funding by Minister for the Arts Senator George Brandis in the Federal Budget on 12 May.

In particular the Inquiry will study the impact of the new funding model on small to medium arts organisations, individual artists, and on funding from other sources such as the philanthropic sector and state governments.

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