Two weeks ago, the Federal Government announced it will ditch the controversial arts fund Catalyst, following a major backlash from the arts community.
Catalyst, created by former arts minister George Brandis in Abbot-era 2015, essentially placed funds set aside for Australia Council and gave them back to the Ministry of the Arts. It didn’t take long for the fund to be dubbed a “slush fund” by the industry.
Senator Fifield has said he will return $80.2 million to Australia Council over the next four years. But what does that mean for the wider music community?
Head of Member Services Group at APRA AMCOS, Dean Ormston, chats to The Industry Observer.
What just happened with the Catalyst fund?
To say the Catalyst fund was contentious would be an understatement! The fund was established by redirecting money from the Australia Council back to the Ministry of the Arts, with new criteria theoretically based on ‘excellence’. APRA AMCOS attempted to secure operational funding for Sounds Australia and the Live Music Office through Catalyst – to no avail. Both initiatives are about investing in the future potential of the contemporary music industry, and as ‘services’ didn’t fit the Catalyst criteria. I think there’s been general applause from across the sector at the announcement that uncommitted funding from Catalyst is being returned to the Australia Council.
What does the government’s decision now mean for the wider music community?