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Federal MPs To Hold 'Talent Quests' To Distribute Arts Funds

12 March 2013 | 3:22 pm | Dan Condon

National Cultural Policy to encourage Idol-like competitions

Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean will tomorrow officially announce the government's new Creative Young Stars scheme, which will give each federal Member of Parliament $23,500 to distribute in a manner they see fit, the Herald Sun reports.

One of the recommendations for the funding, which will be announced as part of the long-awaited National Cultural Policy, will be that members hold regional talent competitions, even in the style of reality talent quests such as Australian Idol.

"The program could support the local rock band in Mildura to travel to a battle of the bands in Melbourne, or a young flautists to go to a competition in Perth. Or a dance troupe to compete in an eisteddfod in Sydney or even a ballerina to go to Paris," Mr Crean said.

A total of $8.1 million will be available as a part of the Creative Young Stars Scheme, grants that will be a part of the government's Creative Australia policy. Primary and secondary school students will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $500, while youth groups can potentially score $3000 under the new operation.

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Schools Minister and former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett stressed the importance of school aged artists being given every opportunity to excel in their craft.

“This is the one time in your life when you can spread your wings and have a go, and to get a little bit of support along the way can make a big difference to how far you can fly,” Mr Garrett said.

Tomorrow's National Cultural Policy announcement will see a shake-up of the country's cultural funding body the Australia Council, which has been under review by the federal government for quite some time.