Arts Minister Peter Garrett has today tabled the Australian Government’s response to the 29 broad recommendations outlined in the Senate Inquiry Report Indigenous Art: Securing the future.

“The Rudd Government recognises that a vibrant and sustainable Indigenous art sector is critical for artists and their communities. The growing Indigenous art market makes a significant contribution to our economy, and Indigenous art practice is an important driver of cultural understanding.

“The Government has an important role in helping to address the concerns raised in this report.

“The Rudd Government has already committed additional funding of $7.6 million over four years to the National Arts and Crafts Industry Support (NACIS) program to boost support for Aboriginal Art Centres. Additionally, we have allocated $1.5 million in the 2008/09 Budget for the implementation of a resale royalty scheme which will ensure artists have an ongoing economic interest in their work.”

Mr Garrett said the Australian Government’s response also included:

  • support for the development of an industry-wide code of conduct to enhance the industry’s sustainability and to protect artists from unscrupulous conduct;
  • enhancement of NACIS funding, including the introduction of three year operational funding to improve financial certainty;
  • a scoping study to consider the implications and effectiveness of an art centre in Alice Springs;
  • further work to examine the issues around authenticity and labelling schemes including looking at the operation of international schemes as well as current and former schemes in Australia; and,
  • promotion of current programs to assist the transition of art centres to greater economic independence.

Mr Garrett has called on the industry to finalise the development of a code of conduct as soon as practicable for it be considered at the Cultural Ministers Council in October.

“A key recommendation of the report is the development of an industry wide code of conduct, which the Government supports. This code is being developed by industry, in consultation with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and I hope to present it to my state and territory colleagues at Cultural Ministers Council in October.

“The Government considers that effective voluntary industry codes potentially deliver increased protection to artists and consumers and help reduce the need for regulatory requirements.”

Mr Garrett said the Government acknowledged the report’s findings regarding the need for improvements in industry infrastructure and would consider these in a future budget context. Visit to view the Government response to the Senate Report and for details on the National Arts and Crafts Industry Support program which funds Indigenous art centres.