On 22 August 2012, the Hon Simon Crean, MP, Minister for the Arts, announced that the administration of the regional touring programs and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy is to be transferred to the Australia Council.
The recent Review of the Australia Council recommended a number of significant changes to its structure and operations to assist in achieving the goals of the National Cultural Policy. Starting with the next rounds, the following Australian Government funding programs will be administered by the Australia Council:
- Contemporary Music Touring Program;
- Playing Australia—the national performing arts touring program;
- Visions of Australia and Contemporary Touring Initiative;
- Visual Arts and Craft Strategy.
The existing Regional and Touring Arts Program Assessment Panel will continue to assess applications for the current rounds of the regional touring programs. Consistent with the Guidelines for this round, the Minister for the Arts will make decisions regarding funding. The Office for the Arts will continue to administer the Regional Arts Fund which assists artists and arts organisations across regional and remote areas.