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The National Framework for Governments' Support of the Major Performing Arts Sector (the MPA Framework) has been in operation for over two decades and reflects joint commitment by the Australian Government and state governments to the arts sector. The funding ratios (initially based on companies categorisation) have largely remained unchanged and have not been altered since they were originally established in 1999. The MPA Framework was last amended in 2011 following its third triennial review in 2008-09.

The MPA Framework is administered by the Australia Council for the Arts (Australia Council) on behalf of participating governments. The MPA Panel advises the Australia Council on MPA company and sector issues, assisting it to implement the MPA Framework and monitor the performance of the MPA companies. The current service level agreements under the Framework end on 31 December 2018.

The MPA sector consists of 28 independent companies in the fields of dance, theatre, circus, opera, orchestral and chamber music, each with individual artistic programs, audiences and service charters. MPA companies are not subject to a competitive process through peer review for their base funding. However, they remain highly accountable for the significant public funding they receive and must continue to meet the definition of an MPA company, and must meet KPIs in their service level agreement.

Details of the funding distributed through the MPA Framework in 2017 by state is in the table below.

Table 1: 2017 MPA Funding, State Funding Breakdown.

Organisation 2017 Federal Funding
($M)
2017 State Funding
($M)
Total MPA Framework Funding
($M)
QLD $9.75 $12.68 $22.43
Opera Queensland $0.66 $2.62 $3.28
Queensland Ballet $0.51 $3.22 $3.73
Queensland Symphony Orchestra $7.76 $3.08 $10.84
Queensland Theatre $0.83 $3.76 $4.59
NSW $45.45 $11.72 $57.17
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra $0.50 $0.47 $0.97
Australian Chamber Orchestra $1.92 $0.20 $2.12
Bangarra $2.48 $0.55 $3.03
Bell Shakespeare $0.68 $0.78 $1.46
Belvoir $1.04 $1.00 $2.04
Musica Viva $1.72 $0.55 $2.27
Sydney Dance Company $2.65 $0.27 $2.92
Sydney Symphony Orchestra $11.33 $3.29 $14.63
Sydney Theatre Company $2.25 $0.52 $2.78
The Australian Ballet* $0.00 $0.65 $0.65
Opera Australia** $20.88 $3.43 $24.31
SA $9.11 $6.64 $15.74
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra $6.97 $2.57 $9.54
State Opera of South Australia $1.52 $1.57 $3.10
State Theatre Company of SA $0.61 $2.50 $3.11
TAS $6.57 $1.52 $8.09
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra $6.57 $1.52 $8.09
VIC $28.58 $7.31 $35.89
Circus Oz $2.20 $0.15 $2.35
Malthouse $1.36 $1.20 $2.56
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra $10.85 $2.41 $13.26
Melbourne Theatre Company $2.22 $0.49 $2.70
Orchestra Victoria $6.00 $1.37 $7.36
The Australian Ballet* $5.96 $0.69 $6.65
Opera Australia** $0.00 $1.00 $1.00
WA $9.05 $8.92 $17.97
Black Swan State Theatre Company $0.63 $1.67 $2.31
West Australian Ballet $0.77 $3.03 $3.81
West Australian Opera $0.48 $1.93 $2.41
West Australian Symphony Orchestra $7.17 $2.28 $9.44
Total $108.51 $48.78 $157.29

*The Australian Ballet’s State funding contribution is shared between Create NSW ($692,000) and Creative Victoria ($652,000).
**Opera Australia’s State funding contribution is shared between Create NSW ($3,434,000) and Creative Victoria ($1,001,000).

 

Queensland funding under the MPA

Queensland has four companies – Queensland Theatre, Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra - out of 28 funded through the Framework.

  • Queensland as a State puts in the most funding into the framework
  • Queensland only get 9% of funding (despite having 20% of the population) 

The Arts Minister presented her views on the Framework issuing a media statement, which can be viewed: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2018/7/20/statement-from-minister-enoch-on-federal-arts-funding and includes table below which shows total federal investment:

Table 2: Total Federal Investment – MPA Framework 2017.

State  Number of MPA Based in State 2017 Australia Council Funding
($M)
2017 Australian Council Funding
Weighting Per State
2017 State Funding
($M)
2017 Total Funding
($M)
 QLD 4 $9.75 9.0% $12.68 $22.43
 NSW 10 $45.45 41.9% $11.72 $57.17
 WA 4 $9.05 8.3% $8.92 $17.97
 VIC 6 $28.58 26.3% $7.31 $35.89
 SA 3 $9.11 8.4% $6.64 $15.74
 TAS 1 $6.57 6.1% $1.52 $8.09
Total 28 $108.51   $48.78 $157.29

 

Funding by artform

Looking at the funding by artform, Queensland receives significantly less in Federal funding than other states through the MPA framework for dance, theatre, opera and music.

Table 3: 2017 MPA Funding, Artform and State Breakdown.

Art Form 2017 Federal Funding
($M)
2017 State Funding
($M)
Total 
($M)
State Funding % of
Art Form Total
Ratio of State to
Federal Funding
Theatre          
NSW $3.97 $2.31 $6.28 36.7% 1 : 1.72
QLD $0.83 $3.76 $4.59 81.9% 1 : 0.22
SA $0.61 $2.50 $3.11 80.4% 1 : 0.24
VIC $5.78 $1.84 $7.61 24.1% 1 : 3.14
WA $0.63 $1.67 $2.31 72.6% 1 : 0.37
*Note Circus Oz (Vic) is classified as Theatre
Dance          
NSW $5.13 $0.82 $5.95 13.8% 1 : 6.23
QLD $0.51 $3.22 $3.73 86.5% 1 : 0.15
VIC $5.96 $0.69 $6.65 10.4% 1 : 8.59
WA $0.77 $3.03 $3.81 79.7% 1 : 0.25
*Note these ratios represent the total state investment into the MPA framework, including the NSW investment into the Vic based TAB and the Vic investment into the NSW based OA.
Opera          
NSW $20.88 $3.43 $24.31 14.1% 1 : 6.07
QLD $0.66 $2.62 $3.28 79.9% 1 : 0.25
SA $1.52 $1.57 $3.10 50.8% 1 : 0.97
WA $0.48 $1.93 $2.41 80.2% 1 : 0.24
*Note OA Federal Funding has been allocated to NSW ($20.8M) as a ratio to the NSW state funding only ($3.4M).  This excludes the VIC State contribution to OA of $1.0M.
Note that the Opera and Ballet Orchestra funding is combined into the OA core funding.
Orchestra          
NSW $11.33 $3.29 $14.63 22.5% 1 : 3.44
QLD $7.76 $3.08 $10.84 28.4% 1 : 2.51
SA $6.97 $2.57 $9.54 26.9% 1 : 2.71
TAS $6.57 $1.52 $8.09 18.8% 1 : 4.32
VIC $16.85 $3.78 $20.62 18.3% 1 : 4.46
WA $7.17 $2.28 $9.44 24.1% 1 : 3.14
*Note that Vic is home to two funded orchestras. Orchestra Victoria, a business unit of TAB, is the pit orchestra for TAB and OA seasons in Melbourne.
Music          
NSW $4.15 $1.21 $5.36 22.6% 1 : 3.42
 

 

Overview Australian Government Funding for Queensland

In addition to the imbalance in Federal funding provided through the MPA Framework for a number of art forms, this imbalance is not redressed through funding for the Queensland small to medium sector.

Table 4: Overview Australian Government Funding for Queensland provides information for the total Federal funding for the arts distributed to Queensland.

Federal Funding to Queensland 2017 Queensland Funding
($M)
Total Funding Pool
($M)
% of Total Funding Awarded
to Queensland
Major Performing Arts Framework $9.75 $108.5 9.0%
Australia Council Projects $3.22 $32.6 9.9%
Australia Council Four Year Orgs* $3.53 $27.6 12.8%
Ministry of the Arts Funding# $6.1 $50.2 12.2%
Total $22.6 $218.9 10.30%

* Four Year Organisations funding was awarded in 2016 but is paid annually from 2017 to 2020.
# Value is for 2016-17 financial year.

 

Milestones:

In August 2018 the Federal Arts Department published a survey to seek input about the Major Performing Arts (MPA) framework.