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Budget 2006: Continued commitment to communications, information technology, arts and sport.



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035/06 9 May 2006

Continued commitment to communications, information technology, arts and sport

The 2006-07 Federal Budget demonstrates the Australian Government's continuing commitment to the communications, information technology, arts and sports sector.

A significant initiative within communications and information technology will protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing phone calls.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will receive a significant funding boost over the 2006-2009 triennium, including extra funding for new Australian content and for regional and local programming.

The Government's support for the arts and sport has also increased through a range of targeted programmes and initiatives to help strengthen those sectors.

The Budget continues to deliver on the Coalition's election promises with funding being provided under its innovative policies, Building Australian Communities through Sport and Active After-school Communities programme.

Budget at a glance

Do Not Call Register

The Do Not Call Register is a commitment to protect consumers from nuisance telemarketing phone calls by allowing individuals to opt-out from receiving unsolicited calls. The Government will provide $33.1 million over four years for the creation of the

Register, with $15.9 million to be recovered from industry over that period.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) funding increases

The ABC's base funding will increase to $530.8 million in 2006-07, $543.5 million in 2007-08, and $555.0 million in 2008-09 in line with the Government's 2004 election commitment to maintain the ABC's base funding in real terms.

In addition, the Government will provide the ABC with increased funding of $88.2 million for new initiatives over the next three years. This includes $38.3 million to help improve its capital asset base (plus depreciation funding of $6.8 million), $30 million for new Australian television content production and an increase of $13.2 million for the ABC's Regional and Local Programming initiative.

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS)

The SBS's triennial base funding will increase to $90.0 million in 2006-07, $91.9 million in 2007-08 and $93.9 million in 2008-09 in line with the Government's 2004 election commitment to maintain SBS's triennial base funding in real terms.

Community broadcasting

The Australian Government will maintain targeted funding for community radio broadcasting by providing $7.2 million over the next four years. This funding will be provided to the Community Broadcasting Foundation to enable it to continue to support ethnic community broadcasting, to fund information technology initiatives and to provide satellite services.

Telecommunications consumer representation and research grants

The Government will provide $3.4 million over the next four years to support organisations wishing to represent the interests of consumers or conduct research into telecommunications issues through the Telecommunications Consumer Representation and Research Grants programme. Grants are made available to consumer bodies and researchers following competitive application-based selection processes.

Continued funding for Australian sport

In order to meet the international challenges facing Australian sport and help to deliver the sporting excellence now expected by the Austral ian public, the Australian Government will continue its strong commitment to Australian sport with funding of more than $250 million in 2006-07.

The funding includes an additional $55.7 million over four years to the Australian Sports Commission to enhance high performance coaching, talent identification and to provide more sophisticated sports science and support services to elite athletes.

The Government will provide more than $125 million in 2006-07 to the Australian Sports Commission to deliver excellence in sports performance by Australian athletes, including those who will participate in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

In all, through the ASC, the Government will invest $67 million in 2006-07 for initiatives that offer improved participation in quality sports activities by all Australians.

As part of this commitment, the Australian Government will invest $34.2 million in 2006-07 for the development and implementation of the Active After-School Communities Programme as part of the Building a Healthy Active Australia initiative announced by the Prime Minister to help address the issue of childhood obesity.

Under the expanded Tough on Drugs in Sport commitment, the newly-established Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority will receive $10.6 million in 2006-07.

The Government has also committed in 2005-06:

• $15 million for the development of the South Australian State Aquatic Centre; • $15 million to fund the capital costs of fitting out an Australian Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground;

and

• $9.6 million for an upgrade of Toyota Park at Cronulla in Sydney.

Old Parliament House (OPH)—the Gallery of Australian Democracy

The Government has committed $31.5 million over four years to enhance the role of Old Parliament House to be the premier institution interpreting Australia 's political history.

The creation of a Gallery of Australian Democracy , which will feature an Australian Prime Minister's Centre, will further enhance the OPH visitor experience following the completion of the National Portrait Gallery's new building, in line with the Government's 2004 election commitment to develop OPH as a leading tourist destination.

The Gallery will deliver a comprehensive programme of exhibitions, education, research and scholarship, as well as outreach activities.

National Library of Australia —funding major works

The Government has allocated $9.8 million over two years for the National Library of Australia to undertake major works at its main facility in Parkes, including the enhancement of its collection storage areas. Construction is due to begin in January 2007.

Increased funding to stabilise the opera and ballet orchestras

The Government will provide a total funding package of $10.6 million over four years to implement improvements to the governance, finances and artistic standards of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria.

Review of film support measures

The Government will announce a review of the full range of programmes for funding films in Australia.

The review will be broad ranging and will examine the effectiveness of current programmes. It will assess other support options and the effectiveness of taxation incentives for the industry.

Collections Australia Network

The Government has allocated $1 million over four years to meet its commitment to the Collections Australia Network's continued operations. The Collections Australia Network is a collaborative initiative of the Cultural Ministers Council.

Australia Business Arts Foundation

The Australia Business Arts Foundation will receive $6.4 million over the next four years to continue promoting private sector support for the arts and cultural sector.

Major Festivals Initiative

The Government has committed $3 million over the next four years to the Australia Council for the Arts to ensure the continuation of the successful Major Festivals Initiative for a further four years.

This ongoing funding reflects the Government's commitment to support the development of major Australian performing arts

productions that have the capacity to engage audiences on national and international stages.

Australian Youth Orchestra

The Australian Youth Orchestra will receive an additional $1.9 million in funding over four years to ensure its long-term sustainability. The increased funding will see the Orchestra at the

forefront of supporting and developing our nation's most talented young musicians.

National Collections Programme

The Australia Government will provide $1.2 million over four years to continue the National Collections Programme which supports strategic initiatives aimed at improving the care and management of items held in Australian archives, galleries, libraries and museums, including those in regional areas.

Contemporary Music Touring Programme

The Contemporary Music Touring Programme will receive $1 million over four years ensuring that Australian musicians and their audiences in regional and remote areas will continue to benefit from this innovative Australian Government programme.