Australian Government cuts funding to the one non-leftist “literary” magazine it funded, boosts funding to leftist ones

Australian Government cuts funding to the one non-leftist “literary” magazine it funded, boosts funding to leftist ones. From Quadrant online:

For the first time in Quadrant’s 60-year history we have applied for a federal literary grant and been completely denied. A savage blow to our modest finances, it is a brazen political decision intended to devalue our reputation and demonstrate that it is the Left which runs and controls the arts.

The Australian Government funds magazines deemed literary? Who knew? Anyway, now it’s only leftist ones:

[W]hile abolishing our grant, the council increased its funding to other literary magazines, all of them left-wing. Instead of the one-year grant of $60,000 that we applied for, the others were awarded grants of four-years, with an annual increase of from $20,000 to $40,000 for each of them. The 2016 grants list for literary magazines looks like this:

  • Australian Book Review, increase per year $20,000; total grant $560,000
  • Griffith Review, increase per year $40,000; total grant $400,000
  • Overland magazine, increase per year $20,00; total grant $320,000.

Oh the unfairness of it.

None of these publications match the output, the quality, or the readership of Quadrant. With a circulation of more than 6000 buyers/subscribers per month, it is easily the best read of these publications. Quadrant is also the most prolific publisher of poetry in Australia, in either magazine or book format, with up to 300 poems published per year for the past decade. Our Literary Editor, Les Murray, has worked on every edition since 1990, that is, for 256 of the magazine’s 518 editions. He is not only widely recognized as Australia’s greatest living poet but also Australia’s foremost poetry anthologist. He has made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the literary arts in this country, unmatched by anything achieved by the minions funded by the Australia Council.

Well now that Quadrant is no longer hooked on government funding, it will be freer to publish certain truths its government funders prefer not to mention. Looking forward to a bit more attitude from Quadrant.

A couple of years after Quadrant went on line, I recall it proudly announced it had reached 1 million page views and that it had 500+ financial backers. As it happens my wife’s blog,, started about the same time and had reached a million page views a little more quickly, with only one financial backer — me.

Where do these organizations get off getting funding from the state? When the Gillard government looked at policing blogs in order to mute criticism it could not otherwise suppress, with the Finkelstein Inquiry, it was specifically aiming at shutting up climate skeptics among others, as the government admitted when forced to give examples of why it was needed. My wife’s blog is a climate skeptic blog, has won every available blogger award in Australia by a country mile multiple times, and is the third biggest climate skeptic site in the world. We figured if the Finkelstein recommendations were implemented we’d have to move to Singapore for the political freedom of running our blog.

Maybe that’s the difference between getting government funding, with the strings, and not? The Wentworth Report of course gets nothing from the Government, will never be offered anything by government, and will never accept anything from government.

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