The need for a Council Arts Policy has been discussed at multiple arts meetings in recent years … including at this Creative Roundtable held at Murgon last year

December 9, 2020

South Burnett Regional Council is calling for public feedback on a proposed new Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy.

The policy will set the direction for Council’s involvement in the region’s arts, cultural and heritage activities into the future.

Its adoption will mark the first time Council has had an Arts Policy since its former policy lapsed in 2013.

The lack of any Arts Policy has drawn criticism in recent years from some local arts groups, who have said its absence makes it harder for them to attract Federal and State grants for arts-based activities in the region.

The groups have also been critical of the Council’s overall approach to the arts, which has seen the region’s Arts Queensland funding drop from one of the top in the State to a position near the bottom of the ladder during the past five years.

At Wednesday’s Standing Committee Meeting, Mayor Brett Otto introduced the new policy and said that pending the outcome of public consultation, he hoped it would be adopted at January’s General Meeting.

Arts portfolio chair Cr Danita Potter will oversee the public consultation process.

The new policy largely mirrors the Council’s pre-2013 policy, which saw the region win Queensland’s Regional Arts and Culture Award that year for its “Tractor Tattoo” project.

The policy does, however, stipulate it will seek to align the Council’s efforts with the State Government’s “Creating Queensland’s Future: A 10-Year Roadmap” strategy for the arts, cultural and creative sectors, as well as any future Federal arts strategies that may be introduced.

The new policy also stipulates Council establish an Arts Advisory Committee to help link arts activities to the broader community and ensure a role for the region’s traditional owners.

On Wednesday afternoon, Cr Potter told she would welcome all input – positive or negative – but stressed it needs to be received by Wednesday, January 6.

Feedback can be emailed to Cr Potter by clicking here

[Disclosure: Dafyd Martindale and Anne Miller are executive committee members of South Burnett Arts Inc]

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