MPA Framework Consultation

The MPA Framework Consultation period has now closed.

Why we are asking for your views

2019 will mark 20 years since the 1999 Major Performing Arts Inquiry (1999 Inquiry), which established criteria for how MPA companies should be funded. The current MPA Framework reflects the adjustments to these arrangements agreed to in 2011 by the Australian Government and State Governments.

Recommendation 5.3 of the National Opera Review Final Report (2016) observed that there were weaknesses and pressures inherent in the MPA Framework and noted that it might need to be reviewed in the medium to long term.

In response to that observation, at the Meeting of Cultural Ministers (MCM) in September 2017, Arts and Cultural Ministers from all jurisdictions asked officials to identify opportunities to strengthen the MPA Framework.

At the Meeting of Cultural Ministers in September 2018, Ministers noted: ‘the important contribution of the Major Performing Arts (MPA) sector, as part of an ecology that also includes small-to-medium companies, to the development of the arts in Australia, and agreed to the release of a national consultation paper in the near future. Ministers also agreed that, following consultation, they will consider proposed enhancements to the MPA Framework out of session by early 2019’.

About the Major Performing Arts Framework

The MPA sector comprises leading performing arts companies in the fields of dance, theatre, circus, opera, orchestral and chamber music. Funding support for the MPA companies is provided by the Australian and State Governments under the National Framework for Governments’ Support of the Major Performing Arts Sector (the MPA Framework). The Australia Council administers funding to the MPA companies on behalf of the Australian Government and state governments, at levels they set and agree to.

What we have done so far

In 2018, Officials have undertaken research and preliminary consultations with the MPA companies. In addition, the Department of Communications and the Arts delivered an online survey with the arts sector and broader community, to canvas views on strengthening the MPA Framework.

Feedback received from MPA companies and the wider sector indicates there is support for changed arrangements.  The consultation contributed to the identification of opportunities to create an enhanced framework to better support Australia’s arts ecology.

These opportunities are outlined in the Major Performing Arts Consultation Paper. The Consultation Paper proposes a range of features to strengthen the arrangements and provide opportunities to create an enhanced framework that is better positioned for the future.