Funds boost for AbaF

A FEDERAL Government commitment to funding the Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) over the next four years will secure the foundation’s immediate future.

AbaF deputy executive director Brian Peck said the commitment of $6.4 million over the next four years confirms the Coalition’s pre-election commitment.

“In the election campaign the Government confirmed we’d get $1.6 million for four years and that was their election commitment and they’ve delivered,” he said.

In the past AbaF has relied on annual funding from the Government.

The change to a four-year funding commitment means the foundation can undertake real forward planning.

“It demonstrates that the Government believes in what we are doing,” Mr Peck said.

The funding also bolsters the public image of the foundation and supports business confidence.

Mr Peck said business had always been happy to work with the arts, however there was a feeling that the Government also should play a role.

“AbaF has got business leaders signing up to be councillors but they believe the Government needs to provide its share of funding,” Mr Peck said.

The funding for the national foundation is used for the AbaF’s activities and some of the monies are allocated to the different States.

However, much of the State funding for AbaF is raised by the foundation’s councillors in each State.

“For example, councillors in WA help to fund AbaF (Western Australia).

“State manager Henry Boston’s position, and in many cases the State Government, puts in in-kind support,” Mr Peck said.

“It’s really quite an interesting business, Government, Commonwealth partnership.

“This is good news because it means we have stability and we can say to businesses that they can be confident in us and we can all get on with the job.”

Earlier this year AbaF launched the Gold Book of Business Arts Partnerships 2001, a publication that features 27 of the best business-arts partnerships in Australia.

The Gold Book is recognition of the arts and business partnerships that bring real benefits to the partners, audiences and stakeholders.

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