Oz arts budget ups financing 12%

The Australian government handed down its federal budget for 1993-94 on Tuesday, allocating the arts industry $ A331 million ($ 222 million), a 12% increase over last year.

Of that, the overall allocation to film and television is $ A94 million ($ 63 million).

Honored promises

Importantly, the government has honored funding promises made earlier this year in relation to film and TV backing. The Film Finance Corp., Australia’s main production funder, has been allocated $ A57 million ($ 38 million), as expected.

The Australian Film Commission will also receive, as promised, additional funding of around $ 350,000 (part of an overall increase of $ 2.5 million over four years) for development and production support, chief exec Cathy Robinson confirmed; that brings its budget for the year to just under $ 15 million.

The Australian Childrens’ TV Foundation is also eyeing increased funding to improve children’s media.

The government’s major arts funding body, the Australia Council, will receive $ 39.5 million.

The Aussie Broadcasting Corp., a pubcaster, and the multicultural network Special Broadcasting Service also received modest funding increases. ABC was given an additional $ 15 million, bringing its total funding to $ 356 million; the boost largely represents the government’s pledge to give seed funding for the ABC’s fledgling pay TV service.

Triple J expanding

SBS funding rose almost $ 4 million to $ 48 million. Government also allocated an extra $ 13 million to the ABC’s radio youth network Triple J to expand its service into regional areas.