Discussion paper

In Australia and internationally, there is strong interest in the role of ‘cultural’ and ‘creative’ activity in the economy, such as highlighted recently by Australia’s National Cultural Policy, Creative Australia. These terms are often used to describe activities connected with the arts, media, heritage, design, fashion and information technology.

To advance the development of economic measures for these activities, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has conducted a study on the feasibility of producing cultural and creative activity satellite accounts for Australia. The feasibility study concludes it is possible for the ABS to construct Australian cultural and creative activity satellite accounts with a reasonable level of quality using currently available data. The purpose of this discussion paper is to present the findings of the study and invite comment on the proposed approach, data and investment priorities.

The feasibility study was undertaken in consultation with federal and state government organisations comprising the Cultural Ministers’ Statistics Working Group, and with Australian academics.

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