In June 2010, the resale royalty scheme began in Australia, helping artists, particularly remote Indigenous artists, to receive 5% income from their artworks as they are sold again and again.
The scheme was reviewed last year and artists are very concerned that the current Federal Government might scrap it. You can lend your support to the scheme by signing a petition, sending a letter to your local MP or attending the RIGHT NOW exhibition at Sydney’s Boomalli Gallery from April 9 to 27 (55-59 Flood St Leichhardt)
One of the main reasons the scheme was brought into law was to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who were often selling their artworks for very low sums of money – so while their art increased in value enormously, they never earned any of that revenue. Many were living in poverty while their artwork was trading for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Since the scheme began it has generated:
- More than $2.28 million in royalties for artists for more than 820 artists
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artists have received 50% of the total royalties generated
- Of the 50 artists who have received most money under the scheme, 26 are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- Lowest royalty is $50 while the highest royalty has been $55,000
- Most royalties have been between $50 and $500
While there were costs associated with setting it up, the royalties generated for artists already exceeds the funding provided by the Government for implementation