Artshub, the specialist Australian website, reports that George Brandis, the arts minister, approved A$275,ooo (US$250,000) in special funding to a CD label, Melba Records. The grant bypassed due process and proper review.
Melba has a heavy board of Aussie worthies. It advertises itself as ‘a label of fragrant distinction’.
At issue is not whether the grant was deserved but the informal, underhand way in which it was given. Arts administrators in Australia are fuming. One arts chief told Slipped Disc: ‘We could of course expect this ultra-conservative minister to support backward-looking initiatives such as a CD label, rather than something a little more adventurous.’