11 May, 2006

resale royalty overthrown

"A component of the 2006 Federal Budget announced this week, was the decision that a Resale Royalty for artists in Australia would not be introduced.

Despite other art forms such as music and writing enjoying the benefits of a royalty arrangement, the Federal Government made the decision that the visual arts sector would not gain significant benefit from a similar royalty scheme.

Despite the contribution our sector makes to contemporary society, this assertion by the Government effectively positions artists outside of a profession that deserves due recognition.

There is however an insultingly small allocation in the budget that is intended to be more meaningful. What is possibly most frustrating about this decision is the manner in which it was announced. Where is the accountability and debate that once formed the foundation of our political system?

This is not something that we should accept lying down.

To view the press release visit"

forwarded from artworkers

the press release
New Support For Australia 's Visual Artists

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, have announced $6 million over four years in the 2006–07 Budget to support visual artists as an alternative to a resale royalty scheme.

The initiative includes a $0.5 million per annum training package to help visual artists enhance their engagement with the commercial arts market and an additional $1 million per annum to the National Arts and Crafts Industry Support (NACIS) programme to strengthen the significant Indigenous arts industry in regional and remote communities.

The Government carefully considered the issue of a possible resale royalty scheme and concluded that a resale royalty right would not provide a meaningful source of income for the majority of Australia 's artists.

This initiative will instead provide targeted support to individual artists. It will allow a broad range of artists to gain valuable business skills to help them successfully develop and manage their careers. These skills will empower artists to put effective strategies in place to obtain greater income from their work.

The Government considered the effectiveness of a resale royalty scheme following the recommendations of the 2002 Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Inquiry and in light of submissions in response to the discussion paper it released in July 2004.

Research shows that resale royalty schemes bring most benefit to successful late career artists and the estates of deceased artists.

It would bring little advantage to the majority of Australian artists whose work rarely reaches the secondary art market and would also adversely affect commercial galleries, art dealers, auction houses and investors.

One of the main arguments put forward in support of resale royalty was that Indigenous artists are particularly disadvantaged by the secondary sales market. Research shows, however, that a resale royalty scheme would not end disadvantage for Indigenous artists.

The new initiative directly addresses the issue by enhancing the critical support Indigenous art centres provide to individual artists. This will be achieved through increased funding to the existing NACIS program. These art centres offer a place where artists are not exploited, and their skills and talents are nurtured, developed and appropriately remunerated.

The initiative builds on the Government's existing commitment of $19.5 million for the Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy as part of the $39 million partnership with the states and territories.

Now in its third year, the Strategy is making a positive impact on visual arts and craft infrastructure around the country, as well as market development activities in the Indigenous arts sector and for individual artists.

The Government has also supported initiatives that enhance the work environment for artists, including the extension of the term of copyright and the release of a public tax ruling on what it means to be carrying on an arts business.

The Government will continue to provide meaningful and even-handed support to artists. The new initiative will achieve that objective more effectively than a resale royalty scheme.

Media Contacts:

Charlie McKillop (Mr Ruddock's office) (02) 6277 7300/ 0419 278 715
Michael Christo (Senator Kemp's office) (03) 9650 7274 / 0409 040 276

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

$6 million over four years:
$2 million over four years for a tailored training package for visual artists to enhance their engagement with the commercial arts market; and
$4 million over four years to strengthen the promising Indigenous arts industry in regional and remote communities.

That's an additional million per annum to indigenous arts and 500,000 per annum for training programs: one has to ask who will receive this training and what proportion of all australian artists this is? Then it needs to be compared to the benefit of all artists receiving resale royalties.

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