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Creative Australia bill passage

Media Published Friday 16 June 2023

Legislation to reform the Australia Council into Creative Australia and to establish the national music development agency Music Australia, as well as Creative Workplaces, have passed the parliament today.

The Creative Australia Bill 2023 and Creative Australia (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2023 repeals the Australia Council Act 2013 and delivers on commitments made by the Australian Government through its national cultural policy Revive.

“The passage of the legislation to establish the new Creative Australia, Music Australia and Creative Workplaces is an exciting new development and gets us even closer to seeing the creation of a national music development agency,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston.

“The establishment of Music Australia with $ 69.4 million in funding will, for the first time in the nation’s history, provide an opportunity for a whole-of-government, cross-portfolio, strategic and long-term relationship with the breadth of the Australian contemporary music industry.

“This is the biggest change to the way the Commonwealth supports, invests and works with the contemporary music industry. Now that the legislation has passed, the processes to establish Music Australia as part of Creative Australia will need to remain thorough, rigorous and methodical.

“The next ten years will be critical if Australia is to realise future job creation and build skills in music – one of the fastest growing global creative industries at the forefront of cultural expression, community building, innovation, and economic growth.

“Music Australia will be at the heart of how our nation responds to that opportunity and we look forward to working with both the Australian Government and the new Creative Australia to get the policy and investment settings right."

Creative Australia Bill 2023 Highlights

  • Australia Council will be now known as Creative Australia, but will retain the governing board which will remain known as the ‘Australia Council’
  • The governing board will have 14 members appointed by the Minister for the Arts for four-year terms
  • The Bill establishes Music Australia and Creative Workplaces
  • Two separate bodies, First Nations First and Writers Australia will be legislated at a later date
  • Creative Australia will keep the functions of the Australia Council with increased responsibility to:
    • encourage, facilitate and recognise public sector, private sector, philanthropic and commercial support for, and investment in, the arts; and
    • to promote fair, safe and respectful workplaces for Australian artists and those employed or engaged in Australian arts practice.
  • Creative Australia has already taken over the responsibilities of the philanthropy and private sector support body Creative Partnerships Australia

Music Australia

  • Music Australia is responsible for developing and investing in programs:
    • supporting and promoting Australian contemporary music practice
    • supporting and promoting the development of markets and audiences for Australian contemporary music.
  • A Music Australia Advisory Council will be established to provide strategic advice and guidance to the Creative Australia governing board.
  • The nine advisory council members will be appointed by the Minister for the Arts and include the Creative Australia CEO as chair. The members must have relevant and appropriate experience in music.

Creative Workplaces

  • Creative Workplaces is responsible for:
    • promoting fair, safe, and respectful workplaces for Australian artists, people employed, or engaged, by organisations that are engaged in, or supported by, Australian arts practice, people involved in Australian arts practice, and,
    • providing information and advice about fair, safe, and respectful workplaces.
  • A Creative Workplaces Advisory Council will be established with six representatives who have relevant and appropriate experience and be appointed by the Minister for a term of four years.
  • Their role is to advise the Creative Australia Governing Board about the responsibilities of Creative Workplaces.