An additional $52.5 million has been cut from the arts sector over the next four years in the Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). The cuts focus on Museums and Galleries, which received cuts of $36.8 million, with further cuts to Screen Australia. The new Book Council of Australia was scrapped, to the tune of $6 million.
While further cuts to the Australia Council were not announced, the MYEFO news came directly after the latest funding rounds were announced, in which youth theatre companies took a major hit. Ten out of 14 funded organisations lost support. As Daily Review points out in their coverage of the cuts, “In 2007 there were 21 youth performing arts companies funded by the Australia Council, by 2012 that number had shrunk to 14, and now there will be just four.”
As Helen Razer points out, also in Daily Review, the sector had been hopeful that Turnbull’s Prime Ministership would lead to an increased interest in and support for the arts from the Government. Unfortunately, this latest round of cuts offers little hope of change.