The Federal Budgetbrought little joy for the Arts, and COVID support payments are ending far too soon, say industry researchers. Spending on the Arts will fall by around 20 percent, from $990 million in 2021–22 to $799 million in 2022–23, with arts and cultural development funding tumbling from $159 million to just $20.3 million. Much of this is due to the ending of RISE grants, which have kept the industry alive over the past two years.

Dr Ben Elthamfrom Monash University told Limelight there is “grinding austerity baked into the next three or four years”, while Dr Meg Elkins from RMIT said she is “incredulous” about the looming end of the arts sector relief package. “You can clearly see that they think COVID’s over, and no more support is there,” she says.

At the same time as cutting Arts funding, Federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher has also criticised the Australia Councilfor some of the projects it has funded recently. When contacted by Limelight , Minister Fletcherwould not answer specific questions, only providing a brief comment attributed to a department spokesman:

“It is a well-established principle that...