It is my pleasure to join with the Australian Copyright Council to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Copyright Act commencing.


The Copyright Act plays a critical role in protecting and sustaining Australia’s vibrant creative sector.  Our creative sector is not only essential in promoting Australia’s identity, it also has significant economic value. In 2015-16, Australia’s copyright industries generated economic value of $122.8 billion – the equivalent of 7.4% of gross domestic product. It is important the Act continues providing incentives for our creators to develop and distribute uniquely Australian stories, images, sounds and content.


The Australian Government will continue to work to achieve an optimal balance between the right of creators to be remunerated for their creative efforts with the ability of all Australians to meaningfully engage with important cultural and creative endeavours. In undertaking reforms to balance the various stakeholder interests, the Government has acknowledged the need to include appropriate safeguards for creators and creative industries.


The Government is providing targeted support to key parts of the creative sector, such as our $30.9 million committed for the Australian Music Industry Package and $140 million to help our film industry remain competitive in the international production market.


I acknowledge the work of the Council and its board over the last 51 years to build respect for, and understanding of, the Act.  It is a long and complex piece of legislation – almost 600 pages! So it is important to help creators and users better understand their rights and obligations under the Act. This is an important strand of the Council’s work – alongside its ongoing contribution to policy debates and reform initiatives designed to help keep the Act relevant in the face of continuing change.


The Hon Paul Fletcher MP
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts