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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

Jenny Macklin MP

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Senator Mark Arbib

Minister for Employment Participation

Budget investments in arts, culture and heritage

Joint media release
11 May 2010

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The Government will invest $17.7 million over four years for the National Historic Sites program, as well as an extra $3.1 million in 2010–11 to address safety issues along the Kokoda Track as part of our commitment to preserving our national heritage, culture and arts.

"This new investment in the Kokoda Track includes the complete upgrade of the Owers Corner Road to all-weather gravel, safety enhancements at the Kokoda airstrip and improvements in radio communication," Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett said.

This funding is in addition to the $1.8 million announced in September 2009, and builds on the $14.9 million already provided to protect the Track and improve the lives of communities along it. This brings Australian Government investment in the Kokoda initiative to more than $19.8 million over four years.

The Government will also invest more than $8.0 million in an education and public programs facility for the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, and $7.0 million for an extension to the National Museum of Australia's main building, to open up space for more exhibitions.

The Budget also includes measures to help close the gap between Indigenous and other Australians. Continued funding of $4.0 million over four years for the Business Skills for Visual Artists initiative will support funding for Indigenous arts centres and help develop a sustainable and ethical Indigenous arts industry.

"This important investment in Indigenous art comes on top of the Government's existing commitment to continue funding for the National Indigenous Television Service with $15.2 million ensuring its operation for the next 12 months. We will also start a review into our investment in the Indigenous broadcasting and media sector.

"Funding for the 2010–11 Contemporary Music Touring Program has also been increased in this Budget providing regional communities with continued access to new talent, helping artists grow their careers while providing local economies with the benefits from tours by emerging musicians.

"We will also provide $260 000 over three years for CONTROL: The Business of Music Management - an intensive training program to improve the business skills of music industry managers. This will address a gap identified in the Australian contemporary music industry and help build sustainable music businesses.

"Under this year's Budget the Government will provide ongoing base funding to the Australia Council of $686.6 million over four years. The Government will also provide funding of $3.2 million over two years for the Australia Business Arts Foundation.

"Australia's heritage plays an important role in our economic prosperity, with National and World Heritage places attracting tourists and supporting local economies and jobs.

"Funding in this Budget is in addition to the $60.0m invested through the Nation Building and Jobs Plan heritage conservation projects right around the nation, creating around 2750 jobs."

Commonwealth of Australia