Arts, culture, and the creative industries are valued by local government as an essential economic driver for visitor, regional and night-time economies, as well as community mental health and social cohesion.
ALGA recommends that the National Cultural Policy recognises the key role local governments play in arts and culture across Australia.
In 2013, local government investment in culture and heritage was $1.2 billion, or more than 18% of the total national investment by all governments (ABS, 2011). By 2017, local government investment in culture and heritage had grown to $1.5 billion, or more than 27% of the total invested in this sector by all Australian governments.
Local government investment in the creative sector forms the bedrock for local and regional cultural and creative activity across every community in Australia.
Local government collects less than 4 percent of taxation nationally, and councils are heavily dependent on funding from other levels of government. This includes federal Financial Assistance Grants, which have slipped from 1 percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue in 1996 to just 0.55 percent today. Local government can do more to support and invest in arts and culture across our nation but needs to be sustainably funded.
ALGA seeks to ensure that the National Cultural Policy, specifically the “Strong Institutions” pillar, includes policies to ensure local government is represented in arts and culture decision-making, and that local governments are adequately funded to continue providing arts and culture programs and facilities in their communities.
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