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Strengthening Australia's connectivity, creativity and cultural heritage

The Turnbull Government will introduce important new initiatives to keep Australians safe online by countering cyber-bullying and image‑based abuse.

This is a key part of a $237.1 million investment in strengthening Australia’s connectivity, creativity and cultural heritage.

Strengthening online safety for Australians

The Government acknowledges community concerns around online harms such as cyber-bullying and image‑based abuse and seeks to ensure all Australians can confidently take advantage of the internet.

The Government will provide an additional $14.2 million over four years to support the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in delivering important online safety initiatives including:

  • Delivery of face-to-face presentations and new online resources to empower front line workers to assist women experiencing technology‑facilitated abuse.
  • Continuing to certify trainers to present online safety programs in schools and providing online safety training to pre-service teachers at university.
  • Administration of a civil penalty regime targeting perpetrators and content hosts who share intimate images without consent.
  • Creating targeted materials to support vulnerable Australians, including persons from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Indigenous Australians, experiencing online abuse.

The funding will also be used to maintain IT systems to ensure continued protection of highly sensitive material held by the eSafety Office.

Location Incentive Program

The Government will provide $35.0 million per annum over four years from 2019‑20 to establish the Location Incentive Program which will create more than 3,000 jobs for Australian cast and crew, and support the services of around 6,000 Australian businesses each year. Australia has a strong reputation as a world-class filming destination and the Location Incentive will enable us to be competitive in attracting large budget international
productions to be filmed in Australia, and to showcase the ability of our screen production industry worldwide. The Location Incentive will provide total support equivalent to an increase to the Location Offset rate from 16.5 per cent to 30 per cent for eligible large budget international productions that film in Australia from 1 July 2018.

James Cook 250th anniversary

The Government has announced a $48.7 million over four years’ package to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first Pacific voyage, including $21.7 million for measures in the Communications and the Arts portfolio. This will support a range of exhibitions, activities and events which will allow Australians to mark this significant anniversary in a spirit of reflection that acknowledges the meeting of two cultures.

The funding will offer capacity building opportunities for Indigenous cultural heritage sector workers from regional communities, and includes $2.0 million to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies to scope and commence activity relating to the repatriation of culturally significant items from overseas. Further commitments will be guided by the outcomes of the scoping exercise.

The measures will be delivered by the National Museum of Australia, the National Library of Australia, the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies as well as the Department of Communications and the Arts. The broader package also includes the previously announced funding to the Department of the Environment and Energy for the Kamay Botany Bay National Park Master Plan.

National Gallery of Australia capital works

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) will receive funding of $16.6 million over three years to upgrade original building management systems and address age-related deterioration of the gallery building. This funding is in addition to $5.0 million the Government has committed in 2017-18 for this purpose. The gallery building was constructed around four decades ago and these maintenance works will ensure the NGA can continue to protect and display the national collection, and provide appropriate conditions for visitors and staff.

Funding for the National Broadcasters

The Government will provide a total of $14.6 million in funding to the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) over two years from 2018-19 to replace revenue that could not be raised as legislation to allow SBS further advertising flexibility was not passed by the Parliament.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will continue to be exempt from the government-wide efficiency dividend. In order to ensure the ABC continues to find back office efficiencies the Government will pause indexation of the ABC's operational funding in the next triennium. This will result in savings to the Budget of $83.7 million over three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

In 2014 the Government commissioned the Lewis review into the efficiency of the ABC and SBS. The Government is confident further back office efficiencies can now be found. A further review of ABC and SBS efficiencies will be undertaken and will report later this year to assist the ABC in meeting this saving.

This will maintain the ABC's significant base operational funding at 2018-19 levels, resulting in $3.16 billion in Government funding over the 2019-20 to 2021-22 period.

These Budget commitments will provide additional support for Australians online, boost our international reputation and continue to preserve our valuable cultural heritage.

For more information visit: www.communications.gov.au/budget

Media contacts:

Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 746 | geraldine.mitchell [at] communications.gov.au ()

Guy Creighton | 0438 815 302 | guy.creighton [at] communications.gov.au ()