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Arts and Culture Policy
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Welcome to Australian Local Government Association's arts and cultural development policy and research area. Local government has a longstanding role in providing cultural activities and facilities in local communities.  Local government's financial investment in arts, heritage and cultural development in 2010 was estimated at $1.2 billion or over 18% of the total national investment, and growing. (ABS, 2011).  The 565 local governments in Australia represent unique environments where community arts and cultural development (CACD) practice are carried out in all of the art forms.

ALGA's involvement in cultural development is based upon the following principles adopted by the 2004 National General Assembly for Local Government:

  • local government recognises that culture encompasses our diverse heritage and avenues of expression in the environment, leisure, work and daily life, architecture, arts, history, language and education that people use to express their fundamental character and aspirations
  • acknowledges that quality of life in communities can be improved through integrated cultural planning and development
  • supports the preservation, development and promotion of cultural services to provide personal, community and civic development
  • recognises cultural services include provision of libraries, museums, art galleries and performing arts centres, employment and provision of assistance to professional cultural workers, encouragement and promotion or development and implementation of cultural activities, and preservation of unique cultural activities
  • recognises cultural activities encompass the visual, performing and literary arts, social events and activities, educational activities leading to the development of cultural skills and knowledge, festivals, celebrations, commemorative events, community and urban planning and design, public art and cultural planning
  • recognises strategic cultural planning is a key initiative enabling local communities to respond to changing social, recreational, leisure and economic needs, and to address the increasing demand for cultural resources
  • recognises and respects cultural diversity by developing and promoting a range of cultural activities
  • recognises the rights of individuals and communities to determine their own cultural identity by promoting consultation and encouraging participation
  • supports conservation of cultural heritage and promotes innovation and creativity, recognising that the maintenance of a dynamic balance between the preservation of the old and the evolution of the new is the hallmark of a rich and productive culture
  • aims to increase its involvement in the support of local, regional and community museums and to achieve better communication with its state and Commonwealth funding partners in order to ensure that communities receive the best museum facilities and services available.

ALGA is working with state and territory local government association on the following:

Arts and Cultural Ministers

In April 2012 Ministers for the Arts from all jurisdictions and ALGA signed the first National Arts and Culture Accord, committing to greater collaboration between all levels of government and agreed to identify key areas of joint government effort to be detailed in an initial triennial work plan which will be finalised by July 2013.  The National Arts and Culture Accord 'Partnering for a Creative Australia' can be found here.


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