The federal government has amended the arts budget so that $105 million has been reallocated from the Australia Council to Minister for the Arts George Brandis. The move has been widely condemned by Australia’s artists, but has been very well received by the ACT’s bookshelf makers.
ACT carpenter Gerald Zeus told The (un)Australian: “This is tremendous news, business has been a bit slow since I put those bookshelves in Brandis’ office, what with the local economy tanking after all the public service lay-offs, but hopefully with his new funding he’ll have some more work for me.”
Brandis denied that the funds would be used to build yet more bookshelves for his personal library, saying: “Those bookshelves were a necessary expense for an attorney-general, but I see no need to expand them. As Minister for the Arts, what I really need is a gallery, a sculpture garden and some performance spaces.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended his minister in the face of criticism from the arts community. “I don’t know what those art people are complaining about,” the PM said,“the play George commissioned, The Importance of Being Brandis, is coming along very nicely.”
“Anyway, I fully support my ministers taking an active interest in their portfolios, that’s why I’m minister for women, I’m very interested in women, such a fascinating species.
“Hey I could do the same thing, divert some funds from failing programs like those tackling domestic violence so I could have some help around here keeping the place tidy and keeping the shirts ironed.”