The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has called for greater support for local government in its pivotal role of developing the creative sector.
In a new Arts and Culture Policy Position statement, ALGA says developing the creative sector is essential to the liveability and economic sustainability of all communities.
Local government recognition of this was evident from the fact that in 2013 investment by councils in culture and heritage was $1.2 billion, or over 18 percent of the total national investment by all governments.
“By 2017, this investment had increased to $1.5 billion, or over 27 percent of the total national investment in an industry contributing $112 billion to GDP.”
The submission notes that councils have a strong track record of working collaboratively at the local level and can provide targeted delivery of strategic cultural and creative programs by expert personnel.
“Council-owned arts and culture venues are often the only ones in regional and rural towns and so are highly valued. Yet remote and regional councils need further resources to support the provision of cultural services.
“Here, adequately funded arts programs could play a far greater role in addressing local population drift to urban centres and in building community resilience.
“Local Government plays a vital role in the burgeoning creative and visitor economies, investing and delivering capital investment and ongoing arts and culture programs in metropolitan and regional areas of Australia.
“Given financial constraints, local governments need the continuing support of other levels of government to ensure the sustainability of its arts and culture focus,” the policy concludes.
ALGA acknowledges the help of state and territory local government associations in the policy statement’s preparation.