Dept of Communications drops Arts

Straight out of Utopia….?

The Morrison Govt has restructured departments from 18 to 14 which sees the Department of Communications lose Arts. Five dept. heads will lose their jobs but ten departments will remain untouched.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and Department of Communications and the Arts will now be known as The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

“Having fewer departments will allow us to bust bureaucratic congestion, improve decision making and ultimately deliver better services for the Australian people,” Morrison said.

But the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance chief executive Paul Murphy said the arts community was still reeling from the impact the 2015 Australia Council cuts and there were now real fears that the decision to fold the arts into the new department was a precursor to further funding cuts.

“The absence of the word ‘Arts’ from the new department’s title says it all,” he said.

“This government’s disdain for the arts has reached a new low. It did not release an arts policy at this year’s federal election, and its attitude has been cut, cut, cut.

“Artists and arts organisations and of all sizes are struggling in the wake of the 2015 Australia Council cuts, and there is widespread concern that this decision will foreshadow further cuts to arts funding next year.

“We are already aware of arts organisations that are battening down the hatches in expectation that their funding will be reduced.

“The arts contribute billions of dollars to the economy and generate tens of thousands of jobs. They also serve a public good with millions of Australians enjoying the arts either as active participants or as audiences.

“The arts also play a fundamental role in telling stories about contemporary Australia. But as we have seen with the erosion of the public’s right to know and attacks on press freedom, this is a government that is intent on silencing the storytellers, particularly those who confront it with on issues it would rather keep hidden.

“The only explanation we have been given for the abolition of the Arts Department is a wishy-washy statement about reducing government waste.

“If there are efficiencies to be gained, then there is now no better opportunity than to redirect those savings directly into arts communities and reverse the years of neglect and erosion of funding.

“Our members will not take this lying down.

“Mere words the government will not be enough. We call on the Morrison government to show through its actions that it is committed to the arts.”

“The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sus­tain and encour­age them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the rev­er­ence and delight which are their due.” -Winston Churchill 1938

Source: ABC


  1. Titles like arts, science, climate change etc. had been used or retract on and off, and sometimes on and off again, for various departments many times, or under different titles, such as industry being used as a sole title of a previous department dealing with science portfolios. I think it’s the portfolios and administrative arrangements relating to arts that matter, rather than the title. Art is often described as a means of communication.

  2. The government certainly need to rethink this. Maybe they should have collaborated a bit before actually going ahead and restructuring departments, losing hundreds of people’s jobs?

    • In my experience, the losing of jobs is usually the purpose of restructures. If the department is inefficient (often the case), they will cope. If it is already efficient, they will get some jobs back in time.

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