Ben Eltham You may not have noticed it, but a debate about arts and cultural policy is slowly starting to develop during this election campaign.Believe or not, it all started with Peter Garrett.True, the federal Arts Minister has not been seen much lately. To date, he has made no arts policy announcements. But, back in 2009, he did kick off a debate by calling for submissions for a new National Cultural Policy. The policy consultation process took 120 submissions. It also stimulated a fresh discussion about the sort of arts and cultural priorities and policies Australia should be aiming for.One of the things people do when they are asked to make submissions on a new policy direction is to examine the status quo. And that's where things started to get interesting. Because the more you look at Australia's existing arts and cultural policies, the less sense they make.

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