Parliamentary Submission

The Parliamentary Enquiry into Australia's creative and cultural industries and institutions was announced in August 2020. They received 339 submissions and Wavelength's was number 242.


Executive Summary


The creative arts and cultural industries are an essential part of the fabric of Australian society, they bring demonstrable benefits to our economy and our community and have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This inquiry is an important opportunity to consider how to better support artists, arts and cultural workers, and arts and cultural organisations to survive and adapt.


The impact of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural industries.

  • Arts and recreation businesses were the hardest hit by COVID of any industry – three in four reported adverse effects and one in two had ceased trading during March 2020.

  • The creative arts respond quickly to help in crises and COVID-19 was no exception – for example many offered digital programs accessed by those in regional and remote areas.

  • Australians engaged more in cultural activities like reading during the lockdown and agreed that the pandemic had increased their support for artists and arts funding.

  • COVID-19 impacted differently on creative arts organisations depending upon the extent and application of social restrictions and their dependence on box office revenue.

  • Public shows and events will be impacted for an extended period as social restrictions are maintained – limiting events, audiences, and ticket sales and some organisations are not likely to survive.

  • Australia’s professional artists are low paid, and freelance, or self-employed and therefore more ‘at risk’ during a recession. Many may not be able to financially survive the pandemic and may be forced to leave their artistic practice.

  • Specific federal government support to the cultural and creative arts has been limited – and most of the Arts Sustainability Fund ($250m) has not yet been allocated – this is in the context of falling federal cultural expenditure per capita before COVID-19.

The main benefits of the creative and cultural industries.


A) The direct and indirect economic benefits and employment opportunities of creative and cultural industries

  • Economic Activity and Employment

  • Consumer Spending and Cultural Tourism

  • Innovation and Creative Skills Development

  • Savings in other portfolios

B) The non-economic benefits that enhance community, social wellbeing and promoting Australia's national identity

  • National Identity Building

  • First Nations Empowerment, Connectedness, Wellbeing and Livelihoods

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Community Connectedness and Disaster Recovery

  • Social Cohesion

  • Education and Youth Engagement


If you want to read more please download the full submission.


Wavelength Parliamentary Enquiry Submiss
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