Released in 1994 by then Prime Minister Paul Keating, Creative Nation was the first time an Australian federal government formally developed a cultural policy. $250 million in additional funding was promised to cultural institutions.
The report emphasised culture's importance to national identity,and defined culture more broadly than earlier conceptions, by including film, radio, libraries and more. It also stressed the economic potential of cultural activity and arts, stating that:
"This cultural policy is also an economic policy. Culture creates wealth. Broadly defined, our cultural industries generate 13 billion dollars a year. Culture employs. Around 336,000 Australians are employed in culture-related industries. Culture adds value, it makes an essential contribution to innovation, marketing and design. It is a badge of our industry. The level of our creativity substantially determines our ability to adapt to new economic imperatives. It is a valuable export in itself and an essential accompaniment to the export of other commodities. It attracts tourists and students. It is essential to our economic success."
As of June 2012 a new national cultural policy is in development and due for release - for related publications see National Cultural Policy
Originally published by the Department of Communications and the Arts - known in 2012 as the Office for the Arts.