The decision to merge the Department of Communications and the Arts with Transport, Infrastructure and Regional development (dropping the “Arts” entirely) ends a year in which Australian politics has been deeply confused over its genre.
Tragedy or farce? Realism or escapism? Character study or soapie potboiler? One thing is sure: the problems looming on the national horizon – ecological, economic and cultural – are very different from their predecessors of a few years ago, when our actions and their consequences were not so tightly aligned.
A sluggish economy is framed by a fractious global polity, quieter here, full-volume in the US and the UK. So far, Australia has been lucky. No divisive issue of nuclear intensity or truth-proof populist has emerged to shake the country’s bones. But we are at a fragile moment and now is the moment to reclaim the sensible centre.
Without it, the arts – in name and support – will enter a death spiral. It is imperative the government and the sector take action to prevent this.
Read the full article on The Conversation.