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State and Territory Election Update

TASMANIA –The Tasmanian state election has been called for 3rd March.  The previous election was held on 15 March 2014, and was won by the Liberal government, after four terms of the Labor government.

What can you do?
The Small to Medium performing art sector  held two sector gatherings in 2017 – one run by TNA in June, in partnership with All That We Are, and a Pecha Kucha event in November run by Tasmania Performs and Terrapin Theatre, with support from TNA.  Read the Tas Performing Arts Communique here. It encourages action to get arts on the agenda.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA – Election to be held 17 March 2018. The record 16 year incumbent Australian Labor Party (SA) government will seek a fifth four-year term against the opposition Liberal Party of Australia (SA).

What can you do?
The independent Arts Industry Council SA works to help create a more dynamic and fertile environment for the arts to flourish. The AICSA have developed a Vision for the Arts which can guide action towards the election.

VICTORIA – Election Saturday 24 November 2018 (fixed four-year terms). At the previous 2014 election, the incumbent minority Liberal/National Coalition government was defeated by the Labor party.

What can you do?
Advocacy bodies for the performing arts that TNA works with include VAPAC, Regional Arts Victoria, Ausdance Victoria, and Music Victoria. TNA will work to promote stability and ongoing focus on supporting artists.

NEW SOUTH WALES – The next NSW state election is scheduled for Saturday 23 March 2019 (fixed four-year terms). The previous election was Saturday 28 March 2015, where the incumbent Liberal/National Coalition Government was re-elected with a slightly reduced majority.

What can you do?
Theatre Network NSW, TNA’s sister organisation, advocates for and supports capacity building across the NSW theatre sector. TNN oversees the NSW Theatre Producers Working Group, and with this group is developing a program of theatre engagement between the sector and the state MPs in 2018 and in the lead up to the NSW 2019 election.

NORTHERN TERRITORY – The next NT election is scheduled for 22 August 2020. The previous election was held Saturday 27 August 2016 (fixed four year terms). The one-term incumbent Country Liberal Party (CLP) minority government was defeated by the Opposition Australian Labor Party, suffering the worst election performance in its history, winning only two seats to Labor’s 18 (and 5 Independents).

What can you do? 
The fledgling Northern Territory Chamber of Arts and Culture meets monthly and is a point of contact between government, business and the arts. A website is underway and you can Contact Chair Allan McGill at .

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY – The next general election for the ACT Legislative Assembly will be held on Saturday, 17 October 2020. The previous election was held on Saturday, 15 October 2016. The 15-year incumbent Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), led by Chief Minister Andrew Barr, won a fifth term over the main opposition Liberal Party.

What can you do?
The Childers Group advocates for the arts in the ACT region, and although it doesn’t have membership, it continues to be a strong voice for supporting the arts, and you can follow their work on facebook.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA – 2017’s election was held Saturday 11 March 2017. Labor defeated the incumbent Liberal-National government, with a 12-seat majority. The next WA election is scheduled for Saturday 13 March 2021 (Fixed four-year terms).

What can you do?
The Chamber of Arts and Culture WA continues to advocate for greater arts investment and valuing of the role of arts and culture.

QUEENSLAND – The recent election on Saturday 24 November 2017 resulted in a second term for the Australian Labor Party (ALP), led by Annastacia Palaszczuk. The Parliament includes three Katter’s Australian Party MPs, the state’s first Greens MP and the first elected One Nation representative since 2009.

What can you do?
The newly formed Queensland Chamber of Arts and Culture ran ‘Show Us Your Arts’, a campaign calling on all parties to commit to fixing the low level of investment in arts and culture in the State. Join up to stay in the loop.


The Australian Electoral Commission states that “As House of Representatives and half-Senate elections are usually held simultaneously, the earliest date for such an election would be Saturday 4 August 2018.   As the latest possible date for a half-Senate election is Saturday 18 May 2019, the latest possible date for a simultaneous (half-Senate and House of Representatives) election is also Saturday 18 May 2019.”

Media coverage includes speculation that the election could be earlier rather than later, so TNA urges the arts sector to be prepared and begin to strengthen our messaging.

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