Parliamentary inquiry invites responses on Covid’s impact on arts

Image via Unsplash by Adam Bentley

Two important inquiries in Australia are underway at the moment to help chart a direction for the arts during and post COVID. One has been initiated by the Australia Council via its discussion paper, ‘Re-imagine: what next?’ – see our separate story on this. The other is the Federal Government’s Parliamentary Inquiry into the benefits of and impact on the arts during COVID. Conducted through the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts, this is inviting responses from individuals and organisations on a broad range of questions.

The purpose of the Parliamentary Inquiry is to identify the economic and non-economic benefits that the arts bring to society and how a path for recovery can be built. After receiving submissions, it plans to hold public hearings and briefings, and ultimately produce a report to Parliament based on its findings.

The Inquiry says it will consider the following:

  • The direct and indirect economic benefits and employment opportunities of creative and cultural industries, and how to recognise, measure and grow them;
  • The non-economic benefits that enhance community, social wellbeing and promoting Australia’s national identity, and how to recognise, measure and grow them;
  • The best mechanism for ensuring cooperation and delivery of policy between layers of government;
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural industries; and
  • Avenues for increasing access and opportunities for Australia’s creative and cultural industries through innovation and the digital environment.

David Gillespie MP, Standing Committee Chair, said “Australia’s cultural and creative industries are at a point of significant change as Australia adapts to life in a pandemic.”

“Australia’s creative innovation economy has made us a major player in the international arts arena, delivering benefits to our economy and helping shape our national identity. It’s time to reflect on and re-think the way we create and interact with art, as we react to the pandemic and the challenges we need to overcome.”

Have your say in one of two ways. Submissions can either take the form of an online survey or they can be made directly via email to [email protected]. The online survey is fairly short and asks for basic personal and professional information before moving onto a number of key questions, as follows. One can supply extended responses to these.

  • What impact has COVID-19 had on your work or engagement with the arts community?
  • How do you think Australia benefits from the arts?
  • Do you have suggestions to strengthen Australia’s creative and cultural industries?
  • How have you, or your business, changed because of COVID-19?

Submissions to the Inquiry have a closing date of 22 October.

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