Australia has a rich artistic tradition that began way back, tens of thousands of years ago, with the great art of the First Australians. The oldest art in the world is on rocks and on bark right here in Australia. Today, that tradition continues, along with those who have made Australia their home since the 18th century.
The government have a critical role in supporting the arts sector. This is important for our economy but important also for our culture. A delegation of industry figures asked us to support their industry. They want us to maintain quotas for locally made children’s programs and drama. They want us to impose local content obligations on streaming services. They want us to continue to provide adequate funding for public broadcasters and screen agencies. I’m very proud that Labor have announced that we will reverse the cuts to the ABC and we’ll stop the attacks that have occurred on the ABC and SBS.
The fact is that culture is important, and the culture of this island continent is different from the rest of the world. The stories of the melting pot that is Australia need to be seen and need to be told, and through the arts is how we do that. I’m very proud that I represent an electorate that has a very high proportion of creative artists from across the sector—writers, actors, producers and others involved in the arts. I call upon the government to recognise the need to support that sector.