Here are the policy ideas we want to highlight as part of Lou Pollard's North Sydney campaign. There are many more policy ideas coming before the next Federal Election. For now, these give you a clear idea of how we think our principles should be put into action.
Introduce a National Arts Week
The fact that Australia does not have a National Arts Week is a huge gap in our National Calendar. We have science week, engineering week, reading week, we have entire month for workplace safety. But no Arts Week. Australia needs a National Arts Week right now!
Creating a National Arts Week will be a 7 day opportunity to celebrate, participate in and experience the Arts in every form, by as many Australians as possible across the country. You can read more about this idea here or go to artsweek.net.au and sign the petition.
And if you live in live in North Sydney, and you vote for Lou Pollard, you’ll be voting for this great idea at the same time.
We Give A Gonski!
Gonski is the best solution we have to fix the major problems in primary and secondary education in Australia. We need equity of access to a quality primary and secondary education across the country, because we need to give every school child, wherever they are, the best chance to succeed.
Education is the most worthwhile investment we can make in our shared future. Gonski is a great first step in preparing us as a country for that future. So we want it to happen for ALL Australian school kids right now.
If you agree and live in North Sydney, then vote for Lou Pollard on 5th December and support a more educated future for Australia.
Music and arts education in all primary and high schools
The arts are a key part of a rounded education and a powerful element in developing both critical and creative thinking in students. We need to ensure that all students benefit from a strengthened creative and artistic curriculum, not just for those with parents that can afford it - or are lucky enough to be at schools that happen to teach it.
As a first step, we want every school child in NSW to be able to attend a music class taught at least weekly by a trained music teacher.
Every child should be able to sing and/or to play a musical instrument as part of their public school education, if they choose it.
Literacy and numeracy skills are of course essential, but so is creative and artistic development for a comprehensive education. Australia's students need to leave school ready to be part of the smart thinking workforce of tomorrow, that businesses are already crying out for today.
Full Support for NDIS and disabled access to the Arts
The NDIS is a national scheme to provide targeted support and better coordination and access to services for people with disabilities. It’s a single national system, which means regardless of what kind of disability you have and where you live, you will be able to equally access existing services. The NDIS is for all Australians. We want greater access to the arts for all Australians as well. We want to the see the NSW Arts and disability partnership extended beyond the end of this year - and look at ways of implementingv something similar across the country.
The current partnership has been up and running for 4 years and provides support and investment in people and communities often overlooked in mainstream planning.
The serious concern is that this funding will be stopped after 2015. The Arts Party and Lou Pollard will advocate passionately for this not to happen.
We absolutely agree with the principles of the partnership:
- People with a disability make significant contributions to arts and culture in NSW;
- People with a disability should be able to live creative lives and their artistic aspirations and achievements should be a valued and visible part of our culture;
- Participation in arts and cultural activities by people with a disability helps to expand creative and social networks and to create more socially inclusive and equitable communities;
- People with a disability have a valued role in the workplace.
NSW, compared to other states, already has an excellent track record - let's keep building on that! The state government must commit for the next 5 years to guarantee support for this important initiative - and we should find ways to make something similar happen in every state and territory of Australia.
Protect ABC, SBS, Community TV & Radio
ABC, SBS and our community TV stations are huge assets for Australia. They entertain us, provide essential services to remote communities and train our Aussie talent both in front of and behind the camera. Digital broadcasting is an essential tool for our many diverse communities to communicate. We cannot support that diversity by relying only on commercial channels.
Community TV already reaches over 3 million Australians every month and Community radio reaches over 5 million people each week. These station are financially self-supporting.
Yet the ABC is dealing with massive funding cuts and broadcast community TV is going to be turned off forever at the end of the year. This is totally wrong. We need more Australian content and stories told, we need to invest in more home-grown entertainment.
The only enterprises that benefit from killing off Community TV are the existing commercial stations - it's Australian people that lose out.
Community television and radio allows free and open access to produce, volunteer, learn, view, engage, discuss, dispute and participate for all of us. We need to increase our ability to connect and communicate, not reduce it!
Improve access to Australian film, performing arts and cultural events
Ticket prices to major cultural events are not cheap. It stops people experiencing shows and performances. We need to establish a National Online Culture Network so any Australian can watch great performances from their homes or schools; performances that wouldn't be possible without our taxes. National Theatre Live is an initiative operated by the Royal National Theatre in London, which broadcasts live via satellite, performances of their productions to movie theaters, cinemas and arts centres around the world. This is a great model to emulate.
One of the core purposes of the Arts Party is to give the Australian people better and more numerous ways to access to our cultural works in all forms; ideally to enjoy together within communities across the country.
Improve Access to Live Music and help for musicians
The number of available venues across the country is already limited and shrinking – to fix this we will support new approaches by local councils to development controls, building code requirements for noise abatement and liquor licensing regulations, that help encourage more community-friendly live music venues.
We will also support creating a charter that guarantees fair treatment and equipment security rights for musicians at venues where performances are being held.
Additionally, we should make it cheaper and easier to book public spaces for musical performance and do more to activate our public land.
We also need to create an agency designed to help simplify obtaining Public Liability insurance for performers, for low risk entertainment purposes.
Local councils, TAFEs and universities must also be encouraged to lease out their unused properties as performance and rehearsal spaces, wherever possible. It adds value to our shared communities; improves security for their empty assets and makes better and more efficient use of the shared assets from which we should all be able to benefit.