Cut to the bone – the last cut is the deepest
Only a week ago, I was previewing the new exhibition about China at the National Library of Australia, ‘Celestial Empire: Life in China, 1644-1911’. In this particular case I was writing about the involvement of just one of our national cultural institutions in something significant, closely linked to our future as a nation inextricably connected to Asia.
|Opposite the National Museum of Australia - the major cultural institutions are central to saving our heritage and important for our economy but may need saving themselves.|
I wrote at the time that I have often said that long after all else has gone, after government has pruned and prioritised and slashed and bashed arts and cultural support, the national cultural institutions will still remain. They may be leaner and badly damaged but they will still be there. They are one of the largest single items of Australian Government cultural funding and one of the longest supported and they would be likely to be the last to go, even with the most miserly and mean-spirited and short sighted of governments.
'Once again, the national cultural institutions have seen their capabilities to carry out their essential core roles eroded beyond repair – this time far more severely than ever before'
That was before the shameful excuse for strategic economic management called the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook was announced and, once again, the national cultural institutions have seen their capabilities to carry out their essential core roles eroded beyond repair – this time far more severely than ever before.