Still No Real Detail On Brandis's Book Council

More than nine months after announcing the creation of a new Book Council of Australia on 8 December 2014, the Minister for the Arts Senator Brandis today announced it once again in his speech to the Australian Society of Authors in Sydney. 

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

                                SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

STILL NO REAL DETAIL ON BRANDIS'S BOOK COUNCIL

 

More than nine months after announcing the creation of a new Book Council of Australia on 8 December 2014, the Minister for the Arts Senator Brandis today announced it once again in his speech to the Australian Society of Authors in Sydney. 

 

"There is still very little clarity about what this body, funded with $6 million dollars cut from the Australia Council, will actually do", said Mr Dreyfus. 

 

The Council is to be composed of a number of respected individuals from across the book industry, and will be chaired by Ms Louise Adler AM. However, the two-page document released today by Senator Brandis provides scant detail about its intended functions. 

 

"The better part of a year on, this just not good enough", said Mr Dreyfus.

 

"Australian authors and the Australian publishing industry deserve better than this from the Government."

 

"It appears that the Council is to function as an advisory panel, providing suggestions to Senator Brandis on how the $6m taken from the Australia Council might be spent by the Government", said Mr Dreyfus.

 

"I'm very concerned that this model, apparently leaving ultimate decision-making power with Senator Brandis himself, represents yet another attack on the independence of arts funding."

 

FRIDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2015