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2014-15 Australian Federal Budget Summary

The following summary of Australian Federal Budget measures with potential implications for museums was provided to members attending the recent CAMD General Meeting in Launceston and is reproduced here for other members and interested staff:

Arts and Culture

  • Savings of $87.1m over four years by reducing ‘uncommitted funding’ to arts programs administered by the Attorney-General’s Department, the Australia Council and Screen Australia. Australian Council to lose $9.6m in 2014-15 followed by between $6.1m and $6.2m each year up to and including 2017-18.
  • Creative Partnerships Australia provided with $5.4m over four years to generate private sector support for the arts through encouraging philanthropy, sponsorship and corporate volunteering.
  • $0.2m over two years from 2014-15 to work with the UK Government to transfer to Australia on long-term loan, Captain Mathew Flinders’ original Chart of Australia from his 1801-03 circumnavigation of the continent.
  • Consolidation of back office functions of National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, Old Parliament House, National Film and Sound Archive, National Museum of Australia and the National Archives of Australia. To achieve savings of $2.4m over four years.
  • Efficiency savings of $43.5m over four years through a one per cent reduction in the base funding of ABC and SBS.
  • Efficiency dividend – a further temporary increase of 0.25% to ‘various agencies’ with savings to be targeted in areas such as reduced advertising, consultancy and travel costs and deregulation efficiencies. This measure applies to all Australian Government entities, except those specifically exempted by the Government.
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies to receive $3.3m to continue digitisation of collections.
  • Funding for the Adelaide Festival’s support for Asian cultural activities to cease, with estimated savings of $1.8m.


  • Funding to Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority reduced to achieve savings of $2.6m per annum from 2017-18.

Science and Research

  • The Budget cuts at least $420 million over the forward estimates. These are additional to an overall decline in the science budget of $470 million since 2011.
  • No international research collaboration program.
  • 3.25% efficiency dividend cut on Australian Research Council grants. ARC funding cut by $74.9 million.
  • $24m over three years for collaboration between University of Tasmania, CSIRO and the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of Education. Cost of measure to be met by reprioritisation of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) existing funding.
  • Provision of $139.5m over four years to continue the Future Fellowship scheme but limited to Australian researchers only. Will allow up to 100 four-year fellowships to mid-career Australian researchers and administering institution to receive up to $50,000 per annum for on-costs. The number of fellowships available has declined from a high of 200.
  • National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) to receive $150m for 2015-16 only to allow ‘the most critical existing research facilities to continue to deliver maximum benefits to the research community’. Follows on from current Critical Research Infrastructure funding in 2014-14. No further provision made after that year.
  • Government to achieve savings of $21.7m over four years through the amalgamation of the National Environment Research Program and the Australian Climate Change Science Programme to form the National Environmental Science Program. New program will have ongoing funding of $25.5m.
  • CSIRO funding reduced by $111.4m over four years.
  • Cuts of $27.6m to Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation;
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science loses $7.8m in funding.
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) funding reduced by $120 million.
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) cut by $7.8 million.
  • Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) program funding reduced by $80 million.
  • Government to provide $28m over next four years for a national strategy for science engagement as follows: $5.5m for PM’s Prizes for Science; $13.4m for National Science Week and the Strategic Science and Communication Programme; and $9.1m for the Questacon Smart Skills National Technology Learning Programme and Equity of Access Programme which targets disadvantaged, regional and minority communities.
  • New commitments for Academy education programs Primary Connections, Science by Doing and specific Inspiring Australia programs.
  • Charging research students fees for their PhD and Masters programs.


  • Establishment of Community Heritage and Icons Programme which the Government will provide with $1.4m over three years to support historical and cultural groups across Australia in the conservation, development and interpretation of local cultural heritage. The programme will provide grants of up to $10,000 to local historical and heritage groups ($1m in total), $150,000 over three years to the Australian Heritage Council and $240,000 over three years to the Federation of Australian Historical Societies.
  • Government to cease the Grants to Voluntary Environment, Sustainability and Heritage Organisations Programme from 30 June 2014 to achieve savings of $1.3m per annum.
  • $6.9m to develop a business case for the construction of an Australian Western Front Interpretive Centre at Villers-Bretonneux in France to be an enduring legacy of the Centenary of ANZAC. Funding also to enable some land acquisition, project development and design activities.
  • The Government will achieve savings of $2.8m over four years from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Will be establishing $40m Reef Trust to address key threats to the reef.


  • $2m for two years to hold an Australia Week in China promotional event in 2016 – to build Australia’s reputation in China as a world leading tourism destination and trade and investment partner.
  • $10.1m over four years for China Approved Destination Status Scheme tourism arrangement between Australia and China. Includes support for Tourism Australia to actively promote Australia as a tourism destination in China.
  • Funding redirected from the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund and the T-Qual Accreditation Scheme to provide $43.1m over four years for a Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure grants program to encourage international and domestic tourism.


  • AusAID merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission – legislation introduced to abolish.



Meredith Foley
CAMD Executive Officer