13 December, 2019
The Australian Writers' Guild has joined fellow screen industry guilds in calling out the federal government’s abrupt decision to fold the Department of Communications and the Arts into a new super ministry, omitting the Arts, as an insult to the industry.
In an article in IF Magazine, we state that 'the removal of ‘Arts’ from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications signals a fundamental disregard for the arts and arts education in Australia and a lack of respect for the vital role a federal Arts department plays in maintaining a national arts policy and supporting creative industries.'
In the Guild's own statement to members, we express deep concern that the arts community continues to be devalued by the government, with our screen and stage industries facing increased pressure following years of funding cuts and policy inaction.
It remains to be seen what effect this departmental restructure will have in practical terms for the industry, but as we head into 2020 the Guild will continue to advocate on behalf of all members to protect your rights and promote new opportunities. AWG President Shane Brennan plans to continue conversations around the Make It Australian campaign with Paul Fletcher early in the new year, and the Guild is actively pursuing options for future paths and stability for playwrights with the Australia Council.
Read the full IF Magazine article here.