Australia’s Arts Policies: Same Old, Same Old

It’s an election year in Australia, and as Prime Minister John Howard struggles to hold his Liberal government majority together, the arts have taken a back seat to more hot-button issues. And despite some serious problems in the country’s orchestral industry, and uncertainty surrounding the future of the National Portrait Gallery, neither the ruling Liberals nor the opposition Labour Party appear to have any new strategies for the arts. In fact, “the arts policies of the major parties appear to cancel each other out rather than break any new ground.”