Boosting support for communications, music, media and cultural institutions

The Morrison Government’s plan for a stronger economy is investing an extra $393.7 million to strengthen our communications, music, regional media and cultural institutions.

The key measures for the communications and arts portfolio include:

Investing in communications for regional Australia

The Morrison Government will invest a further $220.0 million in regional communications so Australians living outside the major cities can stay reliably connected.

The investment is part of the Liberals and Nationals Government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review which examined the communication needs of people living in the bush. The $220.0 million Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package includes:

  • $160.0 million for two new rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
  • $60.0 million for a new Regional Connectivity Grants Package which includes a digital tech hub to improve digital literacy.

Amplifying Australia’s music industry

The Government will commit $30.9 million in new funding to amplify Australia’s music industry. The Australian Music Industry Package is designed to bring more live music to Australian communities and ensure local artists can expand into lucrative international markets.

The Live Music Australia initiative will provide grant funding of $22.5 million[1] over five years to enable Australian businesses to host more Aussie live music events featuring home grown artists. It will provide incentives to establish or upgrade live music venues, increase commercial opportunities for the Australian music industry and develop emerging artists.

The Australian Music Industry Support Package also provides $8.4 million over four years to establish a mentorship program for women, a development program for Indigenous artists and bands and a funding boost for the Contemporary Music Touring Program administered by the Australia Council. Sounds Australia will also receive additional funding to promote Australian artists in emerging Asian markets.

Guaranteeing Australia’s national broadcasters

Australia’s national broadcasters will receive more than $4.0 billion over the next three years to keep delivering their highly-valued services to the community.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will receive $3.2 billion which includes $43.7 million to continue the enhanced news measure, supporting local news and current affairs in regional Australia in particular.

The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) will receive $887.0 million, ensuring it keeps delivering valuable multicultural media services to all Australians.

This includes almost $29.6 million over three years to guarantee the ongoing quality of its television, radio and online services.

Delivering the Bundanon Trust Masterplan

The Government will provide $22.0 million in new funding to the Bundanon Trust over the next three years to deliver its Masterplan development. This will ensure greater access to the collection, support jobs in the Shoalhaven region and secure Bundanon as a leading tourist destination. This is in addition to the $8.6 million committed by the NSW Liberal Government for the project.

Enhancing digitisation at the National Library of Australia

The Government will provide seed funding of $10.0 million over four years to establish the National Library of Australia’s (NLA’s) Digitisation Fund. The Fund will seek philanthropic contributions to continue digitisation of the NLA’s $1.3 billion collection and make it available through the Trove website. The Fund’s flagship project is the digitisation of the papers of eminent Australians including Sir John Monash and Sir Robert Menzies. These collections are important research assets, with a large body of Australian heritage material made available online for the first time.

Delivering a major new arts tourism project for Tasmania

The Government will provide $1.5 million in 2019-20 to deliver a world-class art installation in southern Tasmania to promote tourism in the region after the impact of the 2019 bushfires. This is in addition to the $500,000 committed by the Tasmanian Liberal Government for the project.

Investing in capital works for the National Collecting Institutions

The Government is investing an additional $8.0 million for maintenance and capital works projects at Australia’s National Collecting Institutions.

Improving connectivity in the Western Australian Grainbelt Region

The Government will provide $2.0 million to conduct a feasibility study to assess ways to improve digital connectivity, using existing infrastructure, in the Grainbelt Region of Western Australia.

Enhancing complaints handling for telco consumers

The Government will direct $7.2 million over four years to ensure consumers’ issues with telecommunications services are resolved quickly and effectively.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will take on oversight of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) Scheme, benchmarking and monitoring performance of the Scheme and introduce enhanced public reporting about telecommunications complaints.

The changes will increase transparency about complaint handling and help to ensure consumers get the level of service they expect from their provider.

Guaranteeing essential telecommunications and services

This funding will guarantee the essential telecommunications services such as the ABC, SBS and TIO and access to cultural institutions that Australians rely on.

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[1] This includes $2.5 million of funding for grant administration

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