Coalition outlines arts policy

The Coalition has outlined its $70 million plan for the arts which includes incentives to boost Australian film production.

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Distributors who invest in local films will be given matching loans of between $2-$10 million from a $60 million fund.

The Coalition expects the fund will generate up to 18 new films over three years.

Regional arts will also get a funding boost with a $14 million investment, including funding grants of $100,000 for galleries that acquire work by Australian artists.

Students who study music at institutions, including the Australian Youth Orchestra, will be eligible for HECS-style loans to help buy instruments, capped at $35,000.

Opposition arts spokesman Steven Ciobo says the Coalition wants to build a “thriving, innovative, unique and prosperous” arts and cultural sector.

“We will implement a practical and affordable plan to help the sector flourish,” he said in a statement.

The group representing Australian screen producers welcomed the commitment.

“It’s good to know that the coalition sees the value of tying in major commercial distributors to the fund,” Screen Producers Association of Australia president Antony Ginnane said in a statement.

“We feel confident that this will result in bigger, better and more profitable Australian films in the future.”

Labor released its arts policy on the weekend, unveiling a $10 million election promise for Australia’s arts sector.

The five-year funding pledge would go to the Australia Council to invest in new and innovative Australian work, including grants of up to $80,000 a year for new artistic works and up to $60,000 a year for new fellowships.

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