The Australia Council Bill 2013 the new governing legislation for the Australia Council – was today approved by the Senate after passing through the House of Representatives last month.
Once proclaimed, the new Act will replace the Australia Council Act 1975, as recommended in the report of the Review of the Australia Council which was publicly released in May 2012. It also adopts the majority of the recommendations of that Review.
Mr Rupert Myer, Chair of the Australia Council, said the passage of the legislation allows the Australia Council to finalise arrangements for its implementation.
The new Act updates the Australia Council’s functions and governance structure in a manner that reinforces the centrality of the artist in the programs and support we provide.
It achieves this by modernising our legislative framework to ensure the new Board has the flexibility to establish panels of artistic peers to provide advice or to make recommendations on specified matters, including the awarding of grants based on peer assessment.
This will allow the Australia Council to continue to be responsive to the creative directions and practices now being pursued by artists and arts organisations, rather than having artists’ work defined only by traditional funding categories.
Australia Council CEO, Tony Grybowski said the organisation would now implement a comprehensive series of transitional arrangements to ensure continuity for its stakeholders.
Artists and organisations can be reassured that work of the Council will continue in its current form until the legislation is proclaimed, including all currently scheduled meetings of the art form boards, the ATSIA Board, the MPA Board and relevant committees.
We will continue to update the sector on all relevant matters to ensure a smooth transition to our new Act.
Mr Myer thanked all Australia Council board and committee members for their contribution to date and for their continued commitment to the work of the Council in support of the artists and arts organisations of Australia.
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