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Federal government to return $61m from Catalyst to OzCo

The federal government will return the majority of funds from its Catalyst Australian Arts and Culture Fund to the Australia Council, totalling $61m over the next four years.

The $61m figure includes the $32m in funding that was returned to the Australia Council in late 2015 when the Catalyst program was announced as a replacement for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).

The administration of $12m in Catalyst funding agreements and $7.2m in funding for the Major Festivals Initiative and the Australian World Orchestra will also be transferred to the Australia Council.

Under the new funding arrangement, the Department of Communications and the Arts will have $2m each year for discretionary funding for organisations not funded by the Australia Council.

In a statement, arts minister Mitch Fifield said the return of funds to the Australia Council would allow it to continue to focus on supporting small to medium arts organisations, with ‘scope for the Australia Council to address specific recommendations from the Opera Review related to Victorian Opera and Opera Queensland, as well as address funding sustainability for Queensland Ballet and the Brandenburg Orchestra’.

‘While Catalyst has been successful in supporting a broad range of arts projects, especially those by small to medium arts organisations, the Government has listened and responded to feedback from the Department, the Australia Council and the arts sector regarding the ongoing arrangements for the Australian Government’s funding for the Arts portfolio,’ said Fifield.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the government announced cuts of $110m from the Australia Council over four years in the 2015-16 federal budget, with $104.8m used to establish the NPEA within the Arts Ministry.


Category: Local news