Australian authors should welcome the advent of the Rudd Labor Government for a couple of reasons.
First, Labor produced an arts policy before the election. The Coalition failed to do so. While the ALP arts policy had a number of holes, particularly to do with literature, at least it was a policy. In policy terms, I happen to think the Greens arts policy is actually much better articulated, but the Greens do not have the majority in the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, Labor relies on Green preferences for its majority in many seats and the new government should not lightly discount the Greens' arts policy.
Second, Labor suports ongoing funding for Educational Lending Right (ELR -- as did the Coalition, the Democrats and the Greens). But authors still need to ensure that ELR funding is increased and indexed.
Another reason for which we should welcome the election of the Labor government is the appointment of Peter Garrett AM to the position of Arts minister. Peter is a practising artist. He know the difficulties and issues artists face. I believe he will be a great arts minister. I congratulate him on his apointment.
The 2017 Overland Writers’ Residency
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