Friday, May 04, 2012

Australia to introduce world-first 'Artist Certification System' from 2013

"Australian Federal Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean, announced today that an Artist Certification System would be put in place in 2013. This five-tier, peer-reviewed system should allow the various levels of Government to more effectively and efficiently allocate funds to those sectors that required it most urgently.

'The Artist Certification System will remove a lot of ambiguity and duplication from the current systems as well as protect consumers from shoddy operators', he said in a Press Conference held in Canberra this morning.

Two key pieces of the new system are the linking of the various levels of artist certification to welfare payments as well as the requirement for any artists visiting Australia on temporary Visas to complete an application process prior to commencing any form of work.

'The system is very simple to follow, inexpensive to implement and will encourage further development of Australia's creative communities', Mr Crean said.

The Artist Certification System will cover many different creative forms and includes such professions as visual artists, musicians (including buskers), actors and even circus performers.

Each level has particular criteria attached to it and has variations to accommodate minority-group artists as well as those termed 'self-taught'. The certifications would be reviewed every three years by peer-driven committees and the fees associated will be kept to a minimum.

Shadow Minister for Arts, George Brandis sees the system as being potentially full of loopholes. 'You can bet money on every man and his dog rorting this system to within an inch of it's life! It's pink batts, solar panels and the BER all rolled into one!', he commented today from Sydney.

New South Wales Minister for the Arts, George Souris, is concerned that the centralisation of funding will mean that community-based projects such as public art will suffer. 'We strongly believe that such funding arrangements will destroy our current audience-focussed system. Paying an artist to simply sit in his or her studio and make things doesn't enrich the community in any way or form.'

The system will commence July 1, 2013 and is expected to cost $15 million over 5 years to implement."

FOOTNOTE: This is not a real story. It has been produced to illustrate how easy it might be to make a simple, efficient system to support the arts in Australia.

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