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Communications, Arts & Sport

21 May 2002 at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter
The 2002-03 Federal Budget says it is continuing to strengthen the communications, arts and sport sectors in Australia.

Staff Reporter | 21 May 2002 at 1:05 pm


Communications, Arts & Sport
21 May 2002 at 1:05 pm

The 2002-03 Federal Budget says it is continuing to strengthen the communications, arts and sport sectors in Australia.

The Government Budget papers says it is working to ensure all Australians have access to quality telecommunications services, can take advantage of the benefits of the information economy, and can engage in creative artistic and cultural activities.

The Government says it has made significant improvements to telecommunications services in regional Australia through its response to the Telecommunications Service Inquiry. This Budget aims to improve telecommunications services for people living in some of the most remote parts of the country through the Indigenous Action Plan.

Television and commercial radio services in remote Australia are also a focus of the Budget as the Government continues to find solutions for television and commercial radio black spots, and extend SBS Television services.

The Budget also recognises the enormous contribution made by Australia¡¦s vibrant arts and cultural sectors, and continues to support festivals, emerging artists, cultural institutions and centres of training excellence.

Alternative technical solutions for Television Black Spots
The Government has committed a further $13.3 million over three years to improve television reception problems in up to 34 separate black spot areas in regional Australia.

This funding will target those communities eligible for funding under Rounds 1 and 2 of the Government¡¦s TV Black Spots Program, which cannot be solved through analog transmission.

Indigenous Action Plan
To boost telecommunications services for Indigenous communities in remote Australia, the Government will invest $8.3 million over three years as part of a Telecommunications Action Plan for Remote Indigenous Communities.

The package aims to improve service levels by making telephone services accessible and making the health, education and entertainment benefits of the Internet available¡Xin some cases for the first time.

The package will include a Community Phone Program, an Online Access Centre Business Study, and Internet Access Program, a Content Development Program and an Information and Awareness Raising Program.

This package follows a national study, undertaken as part of the Government¡¦s responses to the Telecommunications Service Inquiry. It targets the most remote and disadvantaged communities in Australia.

Community broadcasting infrastructure and multicultural funding
The Government will continue to maintain community broadcasting infrastructure and multicultural funding providing $6.6 million over four years.

Multicultural Community Broadcasting, the Community Broadcasting Online project, the Digital Delivery Network, and the Community Radio Satellite Service will all continue to benefit from this funding.

The Community Broadcasting Infrastructure and Multicultural Fund will assist 217 permanent radio stations¡Xof which 145 are in regional Australia and 38 of these provide the only local radio service in the region.

Multicultural funding has resulted in programs featuring more than 40 new languages on 100 community broadcasting stations across Australia¡Xwith
more than half in regional Australia.

The National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) will invest $1 million over four years in e-security initiatives as part of the Government¡¦s commitment to protect Australia¡¦s National Information Infrastructure.

The funding will allow NOIE to provide:
„h a low-cost information program providing tools to deal with specific threats and develop risk management strategies;
„h e-security skills enhancement;
„h raising e-security as an R&D priority; and
„h improved coordination between the Commonwealth, states and territories.

Australian Institute of Sport
To help ensure Australia retains its reputation for sporting excellence, the Government will invest a total of $65.4 million over four years to upgrade and expand facilities at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.

The funding will consist of an additional capital investment by the Government of $41 million commencing in 2004¡V05, with $24.4 million provided by the Australian Sports Commission.

Australia Business Arts Foundation
The Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) will receive $6.4 million over four years to continue its successful role of increasing private sector support for the arts.

AbaF facilitates and promotes partnerships between business and cultural organisations through training, advice and the annual AbaF Business Arts Partnership Awards.

AbaF¡¦s Executive Director Winsome McCaughey says secure funding for the Australia Business Arts Foundation over four years will enable AbaF to build on programs for increasing corporate support for the arts.

She says AbaF is working with companies individually to alert them to the commercial benefits of supporting the arts and it is increasing the skills of arts organisations to use the business case approach to building partnership. This is building the environment for arts and business to work together.

National Museum of Australia
Following a comprehensive review of the National Museum of Australia after its first year of operation, the Government has increased its funding by $37.2 million over four years.

The Budget estimates previously applied to the Museum were determined prior to completion of the facility and before full costs were known.

Contemporary Music Touring Program
The Government will provide $1 million over four years to continue the Contemporary Music Touring Program.

This program is committed to developing viable touring opportunities for Australian musicians, and increasing audience access to live Australian contemporary music, particularly in rural and regional Australia.

Heritage Collections
The Government will continue to fund the Heritage Collections Program by providing an additional $1.2 million over four years to build on the work of the Heritage Collections Council (HCC).

Australian Museums Online
Australian Museums Online (AMOL) will receive an additional $1 million over four years.
AMOL links museums and galleries across Australia and enables world-wide access to their collections through virtual tours.

It also ensures that museum staff, many of whom are volunteers in regional Australia, have access to conservation and collections management tools.

National Institute of Circus Arts
The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) will receive an additional $4.8 million over four years to continue to offer innovative circus training programs.

NICA is based at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne and ensures that talented Australians have the opportunity to study a three-year degree course in Circus Performance at home rather than being forced to travel overseas for training.

National Institute of Dramatic Art
The Government will provide additional funding of $0.7 million in 2002¡V03 for the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) to help meet the increased expenses associated with operating its new Stage II teaching and performing facility.

Stage II, which was built with the assistance of a $25 million Federation Fund grant, was opened in October 2001.

NIDA provides professional training at a tertiary level for young people wishing to work in the entertainment industry as actors, stage managers, lighting and sound designers, set and costume designers, scenery, costume or properties makers, directors, voice and movement teachers and writers.

Australia Council
Through the Australia Council for the Arts, the Government encourages the creativity and development of Australian artists, and provides greater access to arts and cultural activities for all Australians.

The 2002¡V03 Budget provides funding which will assist the Australia Council support Australian artists and arts organisations to pursue artistic excellence in creating and presenting their work, to take advantage of opportunities to improve and develop their skills, and to tour and promote their work to wider audiences.

Youth Arts Festival
The Government will provide $2 million over two years to fund a third national media-based youth arts festival following the success of LOUD in 1998¡V99 and noise in 1999¡V2001.

Like its predecessors, the third festival will promote, nurture and celebrate the innovation and diversity of young people across the country.

Major Festivals Initiative
The Government will provide $3 million over four years to continue the Major Festivals Initiative, which supports Australia¡¦s major international festivals to develop and present large scale commissioned Australian performing arts productions.

Young and Emerging Artists Program
The Young and Emerging Artists Program will continue with an investment of $5 million over four years, giving more new and young artists opportunities for career development and public exposure of their work.

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