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The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) has undertaken a review of Strategic Directions 2016-2031 (Strategic Directions 2031) to assess achievements against objectives by 2023. Strategic Directions 2031 was created prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is recognised some of the goals for WA’s arts, cultural and creative industries have changed. DLGSC recognises that some challenges may have been exacerbated, priorities changed, and initiatives delayed due to the pandemic and subsequent impacts on the economy. 

Strategic Directions 2031 vision, key areas, and milestones

  • Strategic Directions 2031 vision: for Western Australia to be the best place it can be to live, work and play thanks to the contribution of its arts, culture and creative industries.
  • The State Planning Strategy 2050 discusses drivers that will influence the lives of Western Australians over the next few decades and these were incorporated into nine key areas for WA’s arts, culture and creative industries leading up to 2031.
  • The key areas identified in Strategic Directions 2031 are:
    • ­ population growth
    • ­ regional and outer metropolitan WA
    • ­ Perth metropolitan area
    • ­ Aboriginal arts and cultures
    • ­ children and youth
    • ­ economic diversification
    • ­ education and training
    • ­ technology
    • ­ climate change.
  • These key areas are not mapped to the outcomes in Strategic Directions 2031, which are outlined as 5-year milestones to achieve by 2021, 2026 and 2031.

Assessing achievements against milestones

  • For this review, milestones have been put into 3 categories: achievements, in progress and no measurable progress.
  • Several of the milestones that are categorised as no measurable progress have universal access goals. There is recognition that there may have been some progress to specific milestones, however, unless there has been significant progress toward universal access, these milestones have been categorised as no measurable progress.

Milestones and achievements by 2021

By 2021

  • Implemented a progressive legislative and regulatory reform agenda:
    • Arts and Culture Trust established by Arts and Culture Trust Act 2021 — replacing the Perth Theatre Trust Act 1979 and the Perth Theatre Trust
    • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 replaces Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972
    • Special Entertainment Precincts reform (2021) — Northbridge Special Entertainment Precinct established (2023).
  • Aligned and prioritised cultural infrastructure needs to the changing demographics of the state and the potential of repurposing and integrating heritage assets:
  • Strengthened the opportunities for Aboriginal people to celebrate and connect Western Australians with Aboriginal culture:
  • Facilitated regional and outer metropolitan arts development policies:
  • Developed State Planning Policies for cultural infrastructure and the Arts:
    • Cultural Infrastructure Framework 2030+ released 2020.
  • Used new technology for performance measurement and public engagement:
    • establishment of Culture Counts
    • enhanced digital capacity of state venues.
  • A New Museum for Western Australia:
  • Improved the preservation of and public access to state archives:
  • A screen production facility at ABC Studios
    • ABC studios hosted The Heights season 1 and 2
    • film studio market-led proposal process underway for new Screen Production Facility.
  • A joint vision of library reform by State and Local Government:
  • Develop Local Government Cultural Plans to drive best practice and better leverage arts and culture spend across the state:
  • Undertaken a feasibility study to examine the advantages of a back office support centre for small organisations
  • Establish a committee to oversee planning for the cultural celebrations of the bicentennial of Perth:
    • committee established by City of Albany (2026 commemoration)
    • state planning of the bicentennial has commenced.

By 2026

  • Embedded arts based creative learning across all schools in the state:

By 2031

  • Western Australian culture digitally connected to and experienced by the rest of the world:
    • Selling WA to the World (2020 to 2022) to equip ACT venues with live streaming capabilities.

Milestones in progress

By 2021

  • Established a process that ensures ongoing dialogue between the DLGSC, local government, the sector and the public for the purpose of advocating, monitoring and reviewing Strategic Directions:
    • Chamber of Arts and Culture WA’s Five Year Review of Strategic Directions 2016-2031 completed in 2021
    • DLGSC to consult with the sector in the development of a 10 Year Vision for Culture and the Arts in Western Australia (2023-2033).
  • Demonstrated the economic contribution of the sector to the state economy and developed growth strategies:
    • Economic Value of Cultural Infrastructure report finalised March 2023
    • DLCSC Screen Industry Strategy in final stages of development
    • Creative Industries Strategy in development
    • Tourism, events and creative industries a focus area of Diversify WA (2018).
  • Accounted fully for state expenditure on Aboriginal cultural activity and established a whole of government policy and partnerships to invest in Aboriginal cultural maintenance and development:
    • Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy — Western Australia 2021-2029 published by Department of the Premier and Cabinet in August 2021. 
    • DLGSC lead agency on Closing the Gap Outcome 16: Aboriginal languages are strong, supported and flourishing.
  • Identified and prioritised major cultural hubs and infrastructure for master planning and capital investment:
  • Better reflected our multicultural population in our artistic and cultural output:
  • Established new public, private and sector partnerships to drive reform and established new philanthropic foundations for the arts.
    • Public-private partnerships being explored in the development of infrastructure (market led proposal process).
    • National context: the National Cultural Policy transfers the functions of Creative Partnerships Australia into Creative Australia, which will continue to explore new initiatives that will further attract and recognise public and private sector partnerships.
  • Created a suite of new and exciting arts tourism experiences:
    • WA Museum Boola Bardip positioned as significant tourism drawcard
    • Aboriginal Cultural Centre planning
    • RACIP Regional and Remote Festivals Fund
    • WAnderland digital guide to WA’s regional collections (completed 2022)
    • DLGSC collaborating with Tourism WA on the development and delivery of cultural tourism opportunities.
  • Leveraged Commonwealth funds commensurate with the population size of the state:
  • Identified and invested in appropriate skills training across the sector:
    • DLGSC has supported capacity building programs delivered by Chamber of Arts and Culture WA and Kolyang program delivered by Performing Lines WA
    • Ongoing reviews of training needs. Still limited offerings for professional development in both business and creative pathways
    • Investment in new facilities for Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) within Edith Cowan University city campus as part of City Deal.
  • Created memoranda of understanding for cultural exchange and activity with our major Asian and Indian Ocean trading partners:
  • Established a joint State and local government accord for delivery and management of cultural infrastructure:
    • Perth City Council Cultural Plan launched in 2019 and includes a process for managing intersection with state. 
  • Investigated the use of vacant buildings and spaces held by government to be used as creative arts spaces:
    • The Sunset Transformation Committee continues to guide planning for the development of the Sunset Heritage Precinct and are reviewing current proposals and options.
    • DevelopmentWA will develop a business case for the East Perth Power Station in mid-2023 — with potential for culture and arts activity.
  • Increased opportunities for diverse artists and audiences:
    • Disability arts sector strengthened through embedding of better practice and resourcing diverse artists and producers supported via funding programs.
  • Created sub-sector specific strategies to achieve the ambitions of Strategic Directions:
    • DLGSC Screen Industry Strategy in final stages of development.

By 2026

  • Aligned our world-class higher education and training capacity to the growth and international recognition of our sector:
    • Screen Industry Strategy development will consider initiatives for screen industry workforce development.
  • Created a continual program of high quality, accessible arts festivals and activities throughout the state:
    • Funded through the Regional Arts and Culture Investment Program (RACIP).
  • Ensured the sustainability and ongoing development of the state’s Aboriginal arts and culture sector:
    • Aboriginal Cultural Centre planning in process
    • WA Aboriginal Arts and Culture Policy (planned).
  • Delivered growth in the currently underdeveloped sub-sectors of visual arts, crafts/design, literature, digital media and theatre:
  • Accelerated employment growth in film, animation, architecture, music, fashion, design, gaming and dance:
    • Pilot WA Digital Games Fund established; 13 WA projects received funding in May 2023
    • Western Australian Regional Screen Fund (WARSF): it is anticipated that the productions supported through the WARSF to date are to create over 1000 direct jobs across WA with over 500 of these jobs in regional locations
    • The Western Australian Production Attraction Incentive and Western Australian Post-Production, Digital & Visual Effects Incentive (WA PDV) will have similar job creation impacts
    • Screen Industry Strategy has goal to significantly increase film, animation and games employment and workforce
    • Creative Industries Strategy will have similar goals incorporating fashion, design, and other commercially driven sectors.
  • Established a cultural planning system between State and Local Government that facilitates participation in and access to arts and culture for all Western Australians:
    • RACIP Leveraged Creative and Cultural Planning program (2021-2023).

By 2031

  • A growing sector, creating new jobs and new opportunities for WA’s creative people:
    • From 2016 to 2021, total creative employment grew by an annual average of 3.2%, well above the 2.4% growth for the rest of the WA workforce. 
  • A strong Aboriginal culture manifested through its heritage, language, cultural practices and connection to country:
    • DLGSC’s Connecting to Country grants program (2022-2023).
    • DLGSC lead agency on Closing the Gap Outcome 16: Aboriginal languages are strong, supported and flourishing.
  • Western Australia’s artists, curators and creative talent with the choice to represent the state throughout the world and/or be successful in WA:
    • DLGSC’s Contemporary Music Fund extended to 2025.
  • Government as flexible, responsive and creative in the support it offers to the sector:
    • The State Government provided $23.4 million in COVID-19 funding in 2020 to the culture and arts sector.
  • The state’s cultural institutions leading their sectors and driving the growth in access to museums, libraries and galleries across WA:
    • WA Museum Boola Bardip, Art Gallery of WA, State Library WA have implemented strategies to grow and diversify their attendances.
  • A seamless partnership between State Government, Local Government, the sector and the education system in support of developing creative talent and the latent creativity in all Western Australians at all stages in their lives:
  • WA’s public realm shaped by our creative talent:
    • Perth Cultural Centre Masterplan released (2022), consultation included resident institutions and companies.
  • WA’s international trade successes supported through our cultural ties to the rest of the world.
    • DLGSC has established relationships with WA Investment and Trade Offices to promote cultural exchange within each region.
  • World-class cultural infrastructure servicing world-class organisations:
    • Optus Stadium opened 2017, WA Museum Boola Bardip completed 2020, Art Gallery of WA rooftop and multi-purpose gallery opened 2021, Perth Cultural Centre Masterplan released 2022, Perth Concert Hall redevelopment announced 2023, Aboriginal Cultural Centre planning in progress.
  • The private and subsidised sectors creating a collegiate approach to technological innovation, content creation and digital access for cultural producers and audiences:
    • Immerse Australia (est. 2020) for interactive sector.
  • Universal access to arts and culture supported by government, the corporate sector and families and individuals who value the contribution of arts to society:
    • The DLGSC Arts and Culture Monitor has measured public attitude to arts and culture since 2017 and consistently reports that Western Australians highly value the role that arts and culture plays in their community with an index score of between 74 and 78 out of 100.

Milestones with no measurable progress

By 2021

  • Set achievable benchmarks for our ambitions in partnership with Department of Treasury and the sector. 
  • Developed a joint strategy to promote Western Australia as the world’s most livable state through targeting livability indices relating to lifestyle and culture and increasing access and participation in the arts. 
  • Developed a ‘Culture Pass’ for main population centres that integrate ticketing, travel and other benefits in a single transaction.
  • Sought to form a bi-partisan Parliamentary committee to research arts activities that deliver savings to other portfolios of government. Note: Cross party group discussed in 2020. Chamber to revisit with current Parliament.

By 2026

  • Established mechanisms for measuring the environmental impact of the sector.
  • Demonstrated savings and improved service outcomes to government portfolios that utilise the arts to support service delivery.
  • Every public and private hospital will have arts based activities in clinical settings.
  • Created a young people governance program to enable young people to be better represented on the boards of cultural organisations. Note: National context: the National Cultural Policy will ‘establish an Office for Youth and new youth engagement model to embed the voices of young Australians in policy and programs across government, including in arts and culture’. 
  • Demonstrated public policy support for the sector. Developed State Planning Policies for cultural infrastructure and the Arts.­ Note: “Library building, and other cultural facilities” included in ‘community infrastructure’ requirements in State Planning Policy 3.6 (2021), but no separate Cultural Planning Policies have been developed.

By 2031

  • A capital city and regional centres as year-round vibrant, safe, tourism hotspots with culturally inclusive suburbs and places to experience and learn about the best arts and cultural activities the state can offer.
  • Universal and equitable access to high quality arts and cultural experiences for Western Australians wherever they live in the state.
  • All Western Australians are proud of and connected with Aboriginal culture within Western Australia.
  • Western Australia having the most environmentally sustainable sector in Australia.
  • People of all backgrounds, ethnicities, ages and abilities engaging in art without fear of exclusion, and creating their own experiences at home, work, school or in public.
  • WA’s cultural heritage fully accessible and actively contributing to our cultural future.
  • Artists, scientists and engineers working in interdisciplinary teams to push the boundaries of each other’s work.


  1.  Commonwealth of Australia 2023, Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place — Australia’s cultural policy for the next five years, p. 49.

Page reviewed 11 September 2023