Local and state/territory government legislation and policies


This page provides information about local government legislation and state and territory cultural development policies and plans, for cultural development planners from all Australian states and territories.

Local government legislation relevant to cultural development planning

Local government acts provide the legislative framework for local government’s work in each state and territory. As yet, only the Northern Territory Act specifically mentions culture as a domain of local government’s considerations. No other Acts specify either cultural activity or desired outcomes that might result from such activity. Excerpts from the Acts that are most relevant to cultural development planners are provided in the detailed sections below. Although they do not offer specific direction, they can be used to provide some legislative impetus for cultural development plans.

State and territory government cultural development policies and plans

All state and territory governments in Australia have agencies that promote engagement in cultural activity, and provide funding and support to arts organisations and artists. Many of those agencies have policies that direct their own activity, while a few offer policy direction for a whole of government approach to cultural opportunities for citizens.

Cultural development policies and plans (including arts, creative industries and other-named documents) from all the states and territories are listed here, along with a comparative analysis that considered issues of relevance for local government. The analysis considers whether the documents seek to direct the activities of that agency only, or whether they offer a broader vision for the state/territory, which might include direction for local government.

Other criteria for analysis included: timeframe of current document and its relationship to any previous documents; consultation processes undertaken and themes evident in the document. Specific locations or population groups identified as a focus and other agencies with whom they seek to work are considered. Identified success criteria for the work and outcomes, where there are any articulated, are considered.

Findings of the analysis

This analysis examined state and territory government plans and policies to determine which, if any, provided direction for local government and other organisations working directly with communities. Read more.

Note: Research for this page was undertaken by Oliver Anderson.