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Arts Funding Lowest In Queensland

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FLASHBACK: Tractor Tattoo in 2012 … one of the hundreds of successful events, workshops and skills development programs for musicians, painters, dancers and sculptors in the South Burnett organised with the help of RADF funding

October 4, 2018

South Burnett Regional Council has received just $8000 in regional arts funding from the State Government for 2018-19, the lowest amount for any council in Queensland.

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is administered by Arts Queensland “to support quality arts and cultural experiences across Queensland”.

In the 2018-19 funding round, a total of $2.08 million was distributed to Queensland councils.

Councils then provide financial and in-kind support to RADF projects in their area.

The South Burnett was the only council to receive a four-figure sum in the latest funding round.

In comparison, neighbouring councils North Burnett received $45,000; Gympie $40,000; Toowoomba $30,000; Western Downs $25,000 and Somerset $20,000.

The highest payouts went to the Cairns, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast councils which received $100,000 each.

An Arts Queensland spokesperson said it was up to councils to apply for funding.

Their applications are then independently assessed by the RADF Peer Assessment Panel, with input from an intra-governmental advisory group.

It is unclear whether the $8000 payment to the South Burnett Regional Council (SBRC) is simply because the council requested less, or whether it was an Arts Queensland funding decision.

But this year’s payment is far less than the $68,888 RADF funding the Council received in 2013-14.

southburnett.com.au has approached the SBRC for comment but has not yet received a reply.

The $8000 received by the SBRC will be topped up by Council’s own funds to make $13,333 available to local arts projects in 2018-19.

However, its total 2018-19 RADF Budget is actually $17,942 because of “carryover” funds from previous rounds.

These funds were left over because of a lack of suitable applications by local artists in the previous round.

* * *

A lack of suitable applications has plagued the program in recent rounds.

The latest South Burnett RADF round (Round 1 of 2018-19) opened on August 1 and closed on August 31.

It is believed to have received only two applications, and only one of these met the guidelines.

The previous round also attracted little support.

Cr Danita Potter reported to Council in April this year that Round 2 of 2017-18 received only two eligible applications, totalling $4929.

The lack of applications follows changes in recent years over the way the fund is administered locally.

In January 2017, South Burnett councillors voted to adopt a new set of guidelines for how RADF would operate in future.

Instead of three funding rounds per financial year, the program was scaled back to two.

The types of activities that could be supported were also restricted to:

  • Technical and professional skills development, and
  • Local delivery and participation in the arts.

Previously, RADF funding could be used for activities including:

  • Developing regional skills – Supporting professional artists and arts workers
  • Building community cultural capacity – Supporting locally determined arts and cultural priorities
  • Cultural tourism – Supporting cultural activities not supported by other State Government agencies
  • Concept development – Supporting participation of community members in arts development projects run by professional artists and arts workers
  • Contemporary collections / stories – Preserving and providing access to significant local collections or stories

In July 2017, the RADF program was brought under the umbrella of Council’s new Community Grants Program Policy.

This meant it was advertised alongside other community grant programs instead of having its own focus.

In September 2017, two of the five members of Council’s independent RADF Advisory Committee – a group of local arts professionals appointed by Council which assessed applications and then referred them to Council for ratification – quit, claiming the changes to the RADF program had made the advisory committee “pointless”.

In May this year, the independent RADF Advisory Committee was axed by Council.

Recommendations are now made by a grants committee made up of four councillors with responsibility for RADF funds transferred to Council’s Economic Development Unit.

southburnett.com.au asked Arts Queensland if RADF funding was meant to be administered locally by people without arts experience.

We received the following response:

“RADF works on the principle that local community funding decisions are best made by local representatives who understand the needs of their local communities, and how to support local arts practice.

“Local RADF funding is administered directly by each council, with a council RADF liaison officer supporting the delivery of local RADF projects and programs.

“RADF liaison officers and assessment panels are appointed directly by each council.”

* * *

Regional Arts Development Fund 2018-19

Council Name
2018-19
Council
2018-19
Balonne Shire
$25,000
Lockyer Valley Regional
$21,000
Banana Shire
$28,000
Logan City
$31,500
Barcaldine Regional
$25,000
Longreach Regional
$21,000
Barcoo Shire
$10,000
Mackay Regional
$90,000
Blackall-Tambo Regional
$50,000
Maranoa Regional
$25,000
Boulia Shire
$12,000
Mareeba Shire
$35,000
Bulloo Shire
$20,700
McKinlay Shire
$25,000
Bundaberg Regional
$43,000
Moreton Bay Regional
$61,200
Burdekin Shire
$30,000
Mount Isa City
$30,000
Cairns Regional
$100,000
Murweh Shire
$25,000
Carpentaria Shire
$25,000
Noosa Shire
$46,000
Cassowary Coast Regional
$44,500
North Burnett Regional
$45,000
Central Highlands Regional
$35,000
Paroo Shire
$40,000
Charters Towers Regional
$35,000
Quilpie Shire
$45,000
City of Gold Coast
$100,000
Redland City
$40,000
Cloncurry Shire
$18,000
Richmond Shire
$10,000
Cook Shire
$25,000
Rockhampton Regional
$40,000
Croydon Shire
$13,500
Scenic Rim Regional
$40,000
Diamantina Shire
$20,000
Somerset Regional
$20,000
Douglas Shire
$30,000
South Burnett Regional
$8000
Etheridge Shire
$15,000
Southern Downs Regional
$55,000
Flinders Shire
$20,000
Sunshine Coast
$100,000
Fraser Coast Regional
$50,000
Tablelands Regional
$30,000
Gladstone Regional
$55,000
Toowoomba Regional
$30,000
Goondiwindi Regional
$25,000
Townsville City
$45,000
Gympie Regional
$40,000
Western Downs
$25,000
Hinchinbrook Shire
$30,000
Whitsunday Regional
$35,000
Ipswich City
$40,000
Winton Shire
 $20,000
Isaac Regional
$41,600
Livingstone Shire
$35,000
RADF TOTAL
$2,080,000


Disclosure: southburnett.com.au editor Anne Miller is also the secretary of the not-for-profit community group South Burnett Arts Inc


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