The federal government's new cultural policy has allocated at least $14 million to help preserve Indigenous languages and culture.
13 Mar 2013 - 5:41 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 10:48 AM

The preservation of Indigenous languages and culture is a high priority of the federal government's new national cultural policy.

Called "Creative Australia", the program aims to boost funding for the arts, language and cultural programs across the country.

Arts Minister Simon Crean announced the policy at the National Press Club today, emphasising that it would also be beneficial to Australia's economy.

"This is the significance of cultural policy. It crosses so many other areas. It's the closing the gap, it's the social inclusion, it's the innovation, it's education, but how do you respect a culture and how do you express it unless you invest in its language?" Mr Crean said.

The policy's first goal is to "recognise, respect and celebrate the centrality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait cultures to the uniqueness of Australian identity," Mr Crean said announcing $235 million of arts and cultural funding.

This includes providing $14 million to $54 million of funding for the preservation of Indigenous languages.

Other new funding for Indigenous arts includes $613,000 to Bangarra Dance Theatre to build community relationships and $12.8 million to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Studies for digitising their at-risk collections.

Labor will also set up a new "location incentive" to encourage more foreign film productions to Australia. The government had already provided incentives to bring production of The Wolverine to Australia and is negotiating with Disney to secure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo.