It won’t be a political priority for many, but is the arts funding crisis a cautionary tale for “real” Australians?

In a few short hours the polling stations will open and the nation will begin voting for its next Prime Minister. People up and down the country will be weighing up their choice, mulling over the issues that matter to them most. If, like me, you’re invested in the arts (as I assume you are if you’re reading this) then promises to improve the future of Australia’s creative industries, like those made by Labor, The Greens and The Arts Party in recent weeks, will rank high on your electoral priorities. For many, however, this is a factor that holds far less sway. Immigration; national security; health care; education; “jobs and growth”; marriage equality (both for and against): by comparison the arts are all too often dismissed as political fluff, self-indulgent, disposable and superfluous.

It’s little wonder then that the Coalition hasn’t bothered to make an arts policy, nor is it surprising given their track record. Colossal funding cuts, the debacle of introducing of an unwanted government administered funding body, and the sharp reduction in dollars...

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