Pre-Budget investment in national cultural collections welcomed

Copyright access reforms still needed to get the most of out digitisation funding boost.

Tuesday 11 May 2021
For immediate release

Canberra, Australia—The Australian Digital Alliance commends the Government’s announcement at the weekend of an additional $79.9 million in funding for Australia’s National Collecting Institutions (NCIs) in the 2021/22 Budget. Australia’s NCIs play a vital role in preserving our rich history and culture, and they are critical to ensuring that every Australian has access to our history and culture.

While this additional funding will help NCIs to preserve and digitise their collections, much of this content will be unavailable for Australians to access online without changes to our copyright laws.

“Copyright reform is essential to ensuring that collections can be made available to access online”, said ADA Chair Derek Whitehead, “Outdated copyright laws that were written before the invention of the internet are no longer fit for purpose in the digital age, and are holding our national collections back.”

For this reason the ADA is supportive of the Government’s proposed Copyright Access Reforms which are designed to enable greater access to copyright material in the digital age. These vital public interest reforms will ensure that every Australian will have access to the historical treasures held in our national collections, whether they live in Canberra or Coomberdale.

The ADA will continue to work with the Government and all stakeholders to ensure that the proposed changes meet the stated intention of better supporting the needs of Australians and our public institutions.


Interviews and media contact

Mr Rice is available for interviews by request. All media inquiries related to this media release should be directed to:

Mr Ben Rice
Executive Officer
Australian Digital Alliance
02 6262 1474