The Greens have combined with the Labor Party and Senate crossbenchers to initiate an inquiry into Senator George Brandis’ unprecedented raid on Commonwealth Arts funding.
“The Government sent shock waves through the arts community with its $105 million budget-night raid on the Australia Council. Senator Brandis has established his own Departmental funding pool with no guidelines and no evident purpose apart from to play favourites and undermine the independence of the Australia Council,” Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
“Senator Brandis told a Budget Estimates hearing that no arts organisations were consulted on the formation of his National Program for Excellence in the Arts, as though it sprang fully-formed from his brow. Now it is time to hear from the arts community how they will be impacted, where the cuts will hit hardest, and how we can protect arts funding from the kind of shallow politicisation that seems to infect everything this Government does,” Senator Ludlam said.
The committee is expected to issue a call for submissions and develop a program of hearings shortly.