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During 2002-03, businesses mainly involved in music and theatre production put on 53,241 paid performances which attracted 14.2 mill. paid attendances. There were 865 of these businesses operating at the end of June 2003 and employing 7,842 people (table 12.2). The businesses generated income of $622.1m during 2002-03, of which 53% ($331.6m) came from box office takings.
There were 176 performing arts festivals (of greater than two-days duration) conducted during 2002-03, at which there were 29,707 performances attracting 7.5 mill. attendances. Of these attendances, 80% (6.0 mill.) were free-of-charge. Performing arts festivals generated $88.5m in income during 2002-03, of which 31% ($27.2m) came from ticket sales. These festivals utilised a largely volunteer workforce, there being 15,728 volunteers compared with employment of only 1,272.
Information about many of the performing arts companies in Australia is available under the headings 'Music' and 'Performing Arts' on the Australian Government's Culture and Recreation Portal. The Australia Dancing portal, hosted by the National Library of Australia, provides an information and directory database relating to dance in Australia. Prominent Australian companies, such as Symphony Australia, Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and Musica Viva publish annual reports on their web sites which provide information about employment and attendances. Gateway to the Australian Performing Arts on the AusStage web site aims to be a comprehensive listing of all live theatre events in Australia since European settlement (for which records survive).
The film and video production industry comprises businesses mainly engaged in the production of motion pictures on film or video tape for theatre or television projection, and includes services such as casting, film editing and titling. This industry is well-developed in Australia and comprises, for the most part, small specialised companies producing programmes ranging from feature films to sports coverage, documentaries and television commercials. According to the Australian Film Commission (AFC) the major market for Australian audiovisual products is the domestic television broadcast industry. However, export markets are also important for feature films and television dramas, some high-budget documentaries and some commercials.
At the end of June 2003 there were 2,174 businesses primarily engaged in providing film and video production services and employing 16,427 people (table 12.2). The total income of these businesses for 2002-03 was $1,596.6m, with 49% ($778.6m) coming from the production of movies, television programmes, commercials, etc.
There were 9,094 employees working for 33 television broadcasting businesses at the end of June 2003 (table 12.2). These businesses earned a total income during 2002-03 of $5,158.8m with operating profit before tax of $207.4m. Profitability was markedly different between commercial free-to-air and subscription broadcasters. The 27 commercial free-to-air broadcasters recorded a before-tax operating profit of $658.9m, whereas the six subscription broadcasters recorded a before-tax operating loss of $451.5m.
Film and video production activity is undertaken not only by film and video production businesses (as shown in table 12.2), but also by film and video distribution businesses and television broadcasting businesses. During 2002-03, businesses undertaking film and video production incurred $1,502.5m in production costs. Productions made specifically for television accounted for most of this amount ($1,140.7m or 75.9%). Of these productions, the highest costs were incurred by news and current affairs programmes ($351.0m) and sport programmes ($305.1m). However, these types of programmes were among the cheapest to produce on a cost-per-hour basis at $19,700 and $13,000 respectively. These figures contrast starkly with the corresponding figures for drama ($246,600) and situation and sketch comedy ($222,700) (graph 12.3).
The Australian Government provides assistance and encouragement for the production of high-cost feature films, television dramas and documentaries through measures such as the investment program of the Film Finance Corporation Australia, the development program of the AFC and the Australian content regulations of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Table 12.4 shows the number and value of Australian, co-produced and foreign titles shot in Australia. The total production value of these titles in 2004-05 was $811m, of which $536m was spent in Australia - close to the ten-year average of $537m. Foreign production accounted for $248m (or 46%) of the amount spent in Australia in 2004-05, well above the ten-year average of $170m. Australian production accounted for a further $248m (46%), but this was well below the ten-year average of $307m.
In 2004-05, the value of TV drama productions shot in Australia was $223m - a fall for the fourth successive year since the high of $495m reached in 2000-01. There were 34 TV drama productions in 2004-05 comprising six telemovies ($15m), four mini-series ($35m), fifteen series or serials ($122m), and nine children's programmes ($51m).
Additional information about film and video production can be obtained from the AFC web site which also provides links to nearly 800 Australian film and television web sites.
Broadcasting services in Australia are regulated primarily through the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cwlth) which established the Australian Broadcasting Authority as the independent regulator for radio and television in Australia. On 1 July 2005, this authority merged with the Australian Communications Authority to form the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), and it is this body which now has regulatory responsibility for radio and television in Australia.
The Act defines six categories of broadcasting services covering both radio and television:
national broadcasting services - the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), which are largely regulated through separate legislation
commercial broadcasting services - free-to-air radio and television services operated for profit and funded predominantly by advertising revenue
community broadcasting services - non-profit free-to-air services provided for community purposes
subscription broadcasting services - services with general appeal to the public and funded predominantly by customer subscriptions
subscription narrowcasting services - services with limited appeal to the general public (either because of content or availability) and funded predominantly by customer subscriptions
open narrowcasting services - services providing programmes targeted to special interest groups (e.g. foreign language), or of limited appeal because of content or availability, and not funded by subscriptions.
International broadcasting services may fall into any of the last five categories and are targeted, to a significant extent, to audiences outside Australia, using a radiocommunications transmitter in Australia.
ACMA plans the availability of segments of the broadcasting services bands (VHF/UHF television, FM and AM radio), and has the power to allocate, renew, suspend and cancel licences, and collect any fees payable for those licences. It is also the regulator for digital broadcasting and Internet content. Table 12.5 shows the number of radio and television licences on issue in Australia.
ACMA sets various standards which must be adhered to by commercial television broadcasters. For example, the Australian Content Standard requires all commercial free-to-air broadcasters to transmit an annual minimum of 55% Australian content between 6:00 am and midnight. Further information about ACMA and its work can be obtained from the web site.
Commercial broadcast hours represent the airtime of completed first-release programmes, including commercial breaks. Programme re-runs are excluded. In 2002-03 there were 54,743 commercial broadcast hours for first-release productions made specifically for television by businesses based in Australia. As shown in graph 12.6 sport had the most broadcast hours (23,556 hours or 43.0% of the total), followed by news and current affairs (17,837 hours or 32.6%) in 2002-03 (graph 12.6). Situation and sketch comedy had the least broadcast hours (71 hours or 0.1%).
EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER INVOLVEMENT
The 2001 Census of Population and Housing provides information on the number and characteristics of people aged 15 years and over whose main job in the week prior to the Census was in an arts occupation. People who had unpaid involvement in arts activities - or who worked part time in arts activities but had another job they regarded as their main job in the week prior to the Census - were not recorded in the Census as having arts occupations.
The 2001 Census found that, in August 2001, 213,177 people (2.6% of all employed persons) had their main (paid) job in an arts occupation. Of this number, 59.2% were males. Table 12.7 shows the number of people who were recorded in the 2001 Census as having their main job in one of the ten arts occupations in which the highest numbers of people were employed.
Arts work is often intermittent, unpaid or not a person's main job. Therefore, in order to obtain a more complete picture of arts work, the ABS conducted a household survey in 2004 to measure all involvement over a twelve-month period.
During the year ended April 2004, 2.7 million people (17.4% of people aged 15 years and over) were involved in some form of paid or unpaid work relating to the arts activities covered in the survey. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest involvement rate for arts work (27.6%), and this was significantly higher than the rate for Australia as a whole (17.4%) (table 12.8). The Australian Capital Territory also had the highest proportion of paid involvement, with 40.4% of those involved in arts activities receiving some payment.
The survey found that in the year prior to April 2004, more people had paid involvement in design (239,100), writing (185,500) and visual art activities (183,100) than in any other arts activity included in the survey. Of the 370,200 persons involved in design, 65.4% received some payment. This was the activity with the highest percentage of persons with paid involvement, and was followed by television for which 63.8% of the 76,200 persons involved were paid. Of persons involved in writing, 35.5% received payment, while the corresponding figure for persons involved in visual art activities was 23.5%.
An earlier ABS household survey, conducted during March-July 2002, found that, during the twelve months prior to interview, 334,300 people undertook voluntary work for arts and culture organisations (including those concerned with heritage), and this figure was 2.3% of the adult population. Of these arts and culture volunteers, 53.3% were female. The highest rate of volunteering for arts and culture organisations - 3.8% of the adult population - occurred in the Australian Capital Territory. In the capital cities overall, the volunteer rate for these organisations was slightly lower than it was in the balance of the states. The highest levels of volunteering were for organisations categorised as sport, recreation and hobby (1.8 million volunteers), welfare and community (1.6 million) and education, training and youth development (1.2 million).
GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE SUPPORT
The Cultural Ministers Council (CMC) was established in 1984 to provide a forum for the exchange of views on issues affecting cultural activities in Australia and New Zealand. It comprises those ministers from the Australian, state and territory governments who have responsibility for the arts and cultural heritage. The corresponding minister from the New Zealand Government is also a member. The relevant minister from the Papua New Guinea Government participates with observer status. CMC's core activities include the commissioning of studies and investigations through the appointment of working groups, advisory groups or consultants. Additional information about the CMC and its activities can be obtained from the web site.
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory body. It was formed as an interim council in 1973 and was given statutory authority by the Australia Council Act 1975 (Cwlth). The Australia Council supports young, emerging, developing and established Australian artists - and arts organisations - through diverse funding options and a range of grant programs. During 2004-05, 4,939 grant applications were made to the Australia Council, of which 1,912 were successful. These grants totalled $127.7m. Nearly 65% of the grants, amounting to 92% of the funding, went to organisations or groups, while the remaining grants, with an average value of $14,817, were paid directly to individual artists. Further information about the Australia Council and its activities can be obtained from the web site.
In 2004-05 the Australian Government provided $1,329.4m in funding for the arts, while the state and territory governments contributed $416.1m in total (table 12.9). The contribution of local governments to arts funding is not separately available, although it is known that they provided a total of $897.7m for heritage and the arts during 2004-05. The corresponding figures for the Australian and state and territory governments were $1,760.9m and $2,356.3m respectively (see Heritage in this chapter for information regarding government funding of heritage activities).
Between 2002-03 and 2004-05 there were successive increases in the funding of arts activities by the Australian (Commonwealth) Government, and by the combined state and territory governments. These resulted in overall funding increases over the two-year period of $120.0m (or 9.9%) and $9.3m (or 2.3%) respectively.
In 2004-05, the $1,096.5m in funding allocated by the Australian Government to broadcasting and film activities accounted for 82.5% of the total funding it provided for the arts. The combined state and territory governments, on the other hand, allocated the biggest share of their arts funding to performing arts venues ($162.9m or 39.1%). The next highest allocations went to the performing arts themselves ($75.1m or 18.0%) and broadcasting and film ($70.6m or 17.0%) (table 12.10).
An ABS survey of performing arts industry, conducted in respect of 2002-03, found that government funding contributed $134.4m to the income of businesses mainly involved in presenting music and theatre productions, and $27.0m to the income of performing arts festivals. These amounts comprised 21.6% and 30.5% respectively of total business income.
An ABS survey of businesses, conducted in respect of 2000-01, found that, of the $1,446.6m they gave to organisations or individuals, arts and culture activities received $69.6m. This amount comprised $40.4m in sponsorship, $22.8m in donations, and $6.3m in business to community projects. Arts and culture activities consisted of performing arts, creative arts, and the heritage-related activities of museum, art gallery and library operation, and zoological and botanical park and garden operation.
PARTICIPATION BY CHILDREN
A survey of children's activities in the twelve months to April 2003 found 29.5% of children aged 5-14 years (780,400 children) participated in at least one of four selected organised cultural activities outside school hours.
Girls were more than twice as likely as boys (42.8% compared with 16.8%) to participate in at least one of these activities (table 12.11), and were also more likely to participate in two or more of the selected activities (12.0% compared with 2.2%). The rate of participation in at least one of the activities ranged from 32.9% in Western Australia to 25.2% in the Northern Territory.
Playing a musical instrument was the most popular activity (16.8% participation), while dancing had the highest ratio of girls to boys - participation by girls was 14 times higher than participation by boys.
The survey of children's activities in April 2003 also provided information about their participation in art and craft activities outside school hours in the two school-weeks prior to interview. There were 1,311,200 children who participated in these activities, a participation rate of 49.5%. For girls, the participation rate in art and craft activities was 60.6%, considerably higher than the corresponding rate for boys of 39.0%.
EXPERIENCING THE ARTS
Attendance at the performing arts is a significant aspect of the cultural life of many Australians. Table 12.12 shows that, in the twelve months prior to interview in 2002, 26.4% of the Australian population aged 18 years and over (3.8 million people) attended at least one popular music concert, 18.7% (2.7 million people) attended at least one musical or opera, and 18.0% (2.6 million people) attended at least one theatre performance. Attendance rates at most of the performing arts were generally similar to or slightly higher than those recorded in a survey conducted in 1999.
Attendance at cinemas was much higher than for the individual performing arts. This can be seen in table 12.2 which shows that 69.9% of the Australian population aged 18 years and over (10.1 million people) attended a cinema, drive-in or other public screening of a film at least once in the twelve months prior to interview in 2002. Attendance at cinemas was significantly higher than in 1999, when the attendance rate was 65.6% (9.2 million people).
In April 2003 the ABS conducted a survey of children's participation in cultural and leisure activities. These activities included reading for pleasure, watching television or videos, and playing electronic or computer games - activities which involve children experiencing products of the arts. The survey found that 98.2% of children aged 5-14 years had watched television or videos outside school hours during the two school-weeks prior to interview, with little difference between the participation rates for girls and boys. For the other two activities, however, there were marked differences in the male and female participation rates. Playing electronic or computer games was more popular with boys - 81.8% participated compared with 58.9% of girls. For reading for pleasure, on the other hand, girls had the higher participation rate at 82.3% while only 67.7% of boys participated.
Children spent more time watching television or videos than they did on the other activities, with an average of 22 hours of viewing over a school fortnight. For each of reading for pleasure and playing electronic or computer games, the average time spent over the fortnight was 8 hours.
Regular surveys of household expenditure are conducted by the ABS, most recently in respect of 2003-04. Findings from this survey showed households spent, on average, $36.00 per week on arts products (table 12.14), which was 4.1% of their average weekly expenditure on all products. Individual arts products for which average household expenditure was relatively large included books ($3.94 per week), televisions ($3.41 per week), newspapers ($2.56 per week) and prerecorded video cassettes and video discs ($2.08 per week).