Creative Victoria releases First Peoples Action Plan for the Creative Industries

The Victorian Government has announced a new action plan to support First Peoples’ culture, cultural expression and creative practice. The First Peoples Action Plan for the Creative Industries 2018-2020, developed in consultation with Victoria’s first peoples, includes 21 actions to improve equity and cultural recognition. It forms part of the government’s Creative State strategy which commits to strengthening and growing Victoria’s creative industries. Further details on the action plan are available at: https://creative.vic.gov.au/about/first-peoples-action-plan-for-the-creative-industries

Arts and Humanities research excluded from R & D tax incentives - again

The government’s R & D Tax Incentive Guide to Interpretation, released recently to assist businesses understand when and how they can claim government tax incentives for investment in research and development, continues its previous pattern of exclusion of research in the arts (and the Humanities).  In his media release, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos, said: ‘Making it easier for businesses to undertake quality research and development activities is crucial in driving Australia’s productivity’.

Presumably the Minister does not rate productivity in our arts sector, cultural tourism sector or indeed any business who may see design, or a better understanding of customers as important to their business, as ‘crucial’ for Australia’s future productivity.

The guide is available at: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/research-and-development-tax-incentive

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Not dead just resting - CP Snow’s two cultures revived in UK digital arts policy discussion

CP Snow’s two cultures debate was still bubbling under the surface in a round table discussion, attended by CEOs, artists and arts organisations, convened by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of its public consultation on digital and art policy.

Referring to part of the discussion as “Snapchat versus the humanities”, the most heated part of the discussion was around digital disruption in the arts with one participant reported as saying “The culture of Silicon Valley churns out products where ‘done is better than perfect’. . . but we cannot turn artists into product machines.”

Media coverage of the debate can be found at: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/thomas-crampton-culture-is-digital

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Proposed changes to Deductible Gift Recipient rules

In addition to the majority of universities, over 1600 cultural organisations are endorsed as Deductable Gift Recipients (DGR) on the Register of Cultural Organisations managed by the Department of Communications and the Arts. This DGR status allows donors who support their activities to claim a tax deduction for their donations. The government’s proposed changes to the DGR tax arrangements will require those seeking DGR status to register as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. The paper also proposes that DGR management be transferred from the current departmental oversight to the Australian Tax Office.

The government’s discussion paper is available at: http://www.treasury.gov.au/ConsultationsandReviews/Consultations/2017/Tax-Deductible-Gift-Recipient-Reform-Opportunities

Closing date for public submissions is Friday, 14 July 2017

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