Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Attorney General Philip Ruddock has concluded: “It would bring little advantage to the majority of Australian artists whose work rarely reaches the secondary art market and would also adversely affect commercial galleries, art dealers, auction houses and investors.”

He and the Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, have announced A$6m over four years to support visual artists as an alternative to a resale royalty scheme.

The initiative includes a A$500,000-a-year training package to allow a broad range of artists to gain valuable business skills to help them successfully develop and manage their careers.

“These skills will empower artists to put effective strategies in place to obtain greater income from their work,” said the Attorney General.

One of the main arguments put forward in support of a resale royalty was that indigenous artists are particularly disadvantaged by the secondary sales market. However, research has shown such a royalty scheme would not end disadvantage for indigenous artists.

Instead, the government have earmarked an additional A$1m a year for the National Arts and Crafts Industry Support (NACIS) programme to strengthen the significant indigenous arts industry in regional and remote communities.

“The government carefully considered the issue of a possible resale royalty scheme and concluded that a resale royalty right would not provide a meaningful source of income for the majority of Australia’s artists,” the Attorney General said in a statement on May 9.

Research showed that resale royalty schemes bring most benefit to successful late career artists and the estates of deceased artists, rather than the struggling artists at whom they are aimed.