The Australia Council for the Arts is the premier funding body for the liberal arts in this country. It provides much-needed funds for start-up activities. I was once involved in a small magazine (we only lasted one issue) that received funds from them. Now, a new chairman has been appointed to the Literature Board.
Imre Saluszinsky is well known to readers of The Australian, one of the leading broadsheets here and the flagship of Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd. He writes intelligently, mainly on political topics. But he's also involved in the magazine Quadrant, which is considered to be right-wing in outlook. This is what has caused consternation in some quarters.
Accompanying Saluszinsky's appointment recently has been the move of controversial historian Keith Windschuttle to the ABC's board.
These two appointments have caused a lot of anguish and gnashing of teeth among liberal (left-wing) intellectuals. Windschuttle is a regular contributor to Quadrant, where Saluszinsky is a member of the editorial advisory board.
Well, I vote for The Greens at both state and federal levels and I buy Quadrant. It's a great magazine that takes public life seriously and publishes new fiction every month. I was a bit surprised that Phillip Adams didn't bring the magazine into the discussions of the panel of New Yorker staff who visited Sydney for the Writer's Festival last month. But being an unregenerate leftie, it wasn't ever likely.