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Major funding boost to the Arts.



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Major funding boost to the Arts The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today announced a substantial funding package to significantly improve the artistic and financial future for the nation's major performing arts companies.

The 2000-01 Federal budget contains total funding of $43.3 million over the next four years to implement key recommendations of the Major Performing Arts Inquiry chaired by Dr Helen Nugent.

The funding includes $31.2 million for increases to base funding for the 31 companies reviewed by the Inquiry, to place them on a firm artistic and financial footing. Also included in the total funding is $12.1 million for an Industry Adjustment Package, to assist structural change, increase artistic vibrancy and private sector support, and improve marketing and management skills.

The Commonwealth's increased investment in the arts will take the total ongoing base funding for the major performing arts companies to $66 million in 2000-01.

'This is a clear demonstration of the Government's strong commitment to excellence in the arts,' Senator Alston said.

'This additional funding to implement the Inquiry's recommendations is contingent on the State Governments meeting their new financial obligations to the companies.

'The new financial measures announced tonight will ensure that Australia continues to enjoy a financially healthy, artistically vibrant and broadly accessible major performing arts sector.'

The Inquiry was the first high-level examination of its type in Australia. The Commonwealth acknowledges the constructive approach taken by the State Governments

and the companies in addressing the issues identified in the Inquiry's Report.

The companies the subject of the Inquiry are: Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, The Australian Ballet, The Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Musica Viva, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmania Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, State Orchestra of Victoria, Queensland Philharmonic Symphony, Symphony Australia, Australian Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Company, Black Swan Theatre Company, Company B, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Playbox Theatre Centre, Bell Shakespeare Company, Circus Oz, Queensland Theatre Company, State Theatre of South Australia.

Media Contact: Terry O'Connor 0419 636 879 Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

B2000/04 9 May 2000

Endnote: The way that the GST affects Budget estimates, accounting statements and appropriations is described in Budget Paper No. 4.

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