The Minister for the Arts, Senator George Brandis SC, confirmed that funding for Educational Lending Rights (ELR) had been confirmed past 2008 on 8 August 2007 (see his press release here).
The Australian Society of Authors was instrumental in establishing ELR. The ELR program provides payments to eligible Australian creators and publishers on the basis that they are missing out on potential royalty payments when their books are borrowed from educational libraries rather than purchased. The Public Lending Right program (PLR) provides the same support for works held in public libraries.
ELR was established in 2000–01 as an element of the Book Industry Assistance Plan, offering compensation for the imposition of the goods and services tax (GST). It received funding of $35 million for the period 2000–01 to 2003–04. Following a review of the programme in 2003, $44 million was provided in the 2004–05 Budget to continue the scheme for the next four years. Further funding has now been confirmed. The Australian Labor Party has also made a commitment to further funding for ELR in its Arts statement.