The half a billion dollars for the Captain Cook celebrations and expansion of the Australian War Memorial should be redirected to arts and culture projects that will benefit Australians now out of work because of COVID-19, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“In times of crisis, governments need to reassess their priorities. The $500m expansion of the War Memorial and $50m to celebrate Captain Cook’s voyage, are clearly not priorities at this time and the money should be redirected to community arts and cultural projects that will employ artists, support communities and help the economy recover.
“The $48m previously budgeted for the commemoration of Captain Cook should now be redirected to the Australia Council to support small and median arts organisation who are struggling to survive in the midst of Covid19.
“Investing in the survival of our arts and cultural organisations is vital to ensure Australia’s recovery after Covid19. Our creative industry is a crucial part of the stimulus the economy will need once things start opening up again, this will only happen if enough funding is on the table to survive now and plan and prepare for the future.
“Shovel-ready projects that support local arts and cultural organisations will be much-needed lifelines in communities across the country, particularly in regional areas and smaller cities.”