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Per Capita in House of Representatives debate

Melissa Parke MP for Fremantle uses Per Capita's market design in a West Australian House debate

The Fremantle electorate is an important centre of activity in the Australian visual arts. It is home to significant galleries like the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery; to arts organisations like Artsource, which provides advice, advocacy, administrative support and studio facilities; and of course to many individual artists, including Indigenous artists. As this bill has been under consideration, I have been contacted by artists and arts organisations in the Fremantle electorate who welcome the introduction of a scheme that will give them a lasting financial connection to their creative work. The arts community in Fremantle and in Australia as a whole has campaigned for the introduction of a resale royalty for many years, and I commend their persistence on this important issue.
This creative piece of market design adjustment brings about a small but significant change to the way that the secondary visual art market will operate. The bill will deliver a financial benefit to many visual artists, and it is a benefit that is well earned and overdue. This is a case of refining a market so that the market operates more fairly, though no less efficiently. Indeed it will operate more efficiently in that it will direct more of the financial benefit from the developing value of an artwork to the creator of the artwork's value. It will in turn mean that many artists receive a financial return from their work as their creative reputation matures. As noted in an opinion piece in the Australian last month by David Hetherington, Executive Director of Per Capita, the progressive think tank:
... markets are a means rather than an end. They're an effective mechanism to harness in support of our society's development.
This is indeed legislation that harnesses the market in support of our society's development in the visual arts area. This is legislation that effectively helps artists to help themselves. It gives them an appropriate stake in their own artistic development and improvement. I welcome it and I am confident that it will provide greater financial support to many Australian artists, particularly in the latter stages of their lives and careers.

Follow the link for a copy of the full speech

House Debates - Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Bill 2008 (07/09/09)