The Confederation of Australian State Theatre Companies (CAST) has welcomed the arts policy platform announced by The Greens on Monday 30 May and the Labor arts launch on Saturday 4 June.
Both platforms commit to the returning of funding to the Australia Council for the Arts and the abolition of the Catalyst program ensuring the principle of arms-length funding is protected. Labor’s plan to return Catalyst funding to the Australia Council and to invest an additional $20 million per year would reverse the damage done in the 2015 budget but would not return to Labor’s 2013 Creative Australia commitment.
CAST welcomes the Labor commitment to additional funding for ABC drama and notes the interconnectedness of the performing arts and screen industries in their employment of artists and arts workers. The companies call on Labor to rebuild its arts commitment to 2013 levels.
CAST calls on the Coalition to make a renewed commitment to return Australia Council funding to 2013 levels and to abolish the Catalyst program unless additional funds can be found for it.
‘The arts contributes over $4.2 billion to GDP in Australia*,’ the CAST Executive Council said. ‘To ensure that this highly productive industry continues to contribute at this rate, government support at a level that sustains the entire industry is essential.’
This statement is co-signed by the Confederation of Australian State Theatre Companies and the executive management of each organisation.
Gill Perkins, General Manager
Peter Evans, Artistic Director
Brenna Hobson, Executive Director
Eamon Flack, Artistic Director
Black Swan State Theatre Company
Natalie Jenkins, Executive Director
Clare Watson, Artistic Director Designate
Sarah Neal, Executive Producer
Matt Lutton, Artistic Director
Melbourne Theatre Company
Virginia Lovett, Executive Director
Brett Sheehy AO, Artistic Director
Queensland Theatre Company
Sue Donnelly, Executive Director
Sam Strong, Artistic Director
State Theatre Company of South Australia
Rob Brookman AM, Executive Director/Producer
Geordie Brookman, Artistic Director
Sydney Theatre Company
Patrick McIntyre, Executive Director
*Figure from the 2015 Arts Nation report published by the Australia Council for the Arts.