On Thursday...[executive director of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group, Helen] O'Neil sent a letter to the group's 28 member companies praising Garrett's appointment as minister for the arts. But she warned members, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Dance Company, of possible cuts under a razor gang directed by the new treasurer, Wayne Swan.
Garrett is not prepared to commit to funds allocated in the May budget, and will not use his position to influence the states on support for the arts.
UPDATE: Jim at Rage and Enthusiasm gives a must-read analysis of the implications for regional arts in Australia, claiming the Labor policy falls far short of what is needed. And fearing that the idea of arts "access" for regional areas might be skewed by a bit of urban snobbery.