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New artificial body centerpiece of culture plan

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A new multi-million dollar body to support Australians in the creative arts will be at the center of an overhaul of the country’s cultural sector.

The federal government on Monday will outline its new national culture policy, also known as Revive, which will be used as a $286 million blueprint for the arts in Australia over the next five years.

The policy provides for the creation of a new arts investment and advisory body known as Creative Australia, with $200 million going to the organization over the next four years.

The body will be responsible for funding artistic projects through a range of mediums remote from the government.

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As part of Creative Australia, dedicated agencies will oversee investment in the music industry and assist Australian writers and illustrators.

As part of the new organization, a new First Nations-led body will also be established, as well as an arts and entertainment workplace center that will monitor whether arts workers are paid fairly and in workplaces free from discrimination.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the investments would help reverse past cuts in the sector.

“I am excited about the potential it will unleash and to see our extraordinary and diverse Australian stories continue to be told with originality, humour, creativity and flair,” he said.

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“It builds on the proud legacy of previous Labor governments that recognized the importance of arts and culture to Australian identity, social unity and economic prosperity.”

As part of the policy, the Australia Council, which previously oversaw creative investment decisions, will become Creative Australia’s governing body.

The policy will also introduce legislation to protect Indigenous knowledge and cultural expression, such as cracking down on counterfeit Aboriginal art, as well as establishing a National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs and an Aboriginal Cultural Center in Perth.

Quotas on Australian content on streaming services will also be on the agenda as part of the culture policy.

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While the exact quota number has yet to be determined, discussions will take place between the government and streamers before any target-setting legislation is presented to parliament later this year.

Arts Minister Tony Burke said the new strategy would help the creative sector recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic.

“Under Revive there will be a place for every story and a story for every place,” he said.

“It is a comprehensive roadmap for Australian arts and culture that touches all areas of government, from cultural diplomacy in foreign affairs to health and education,” he said.