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Objectives of the Council

The Australia Council (the Council) is an Australian Government controlled entity.
It is a not-for-profit entity.

The purpose of the Council is to champion and invest in Australian arts.

The Council is structured to meet one outcome:

Supporting Australian artists and art organisations to create and present excellent art
that is accessed by audiences across Australia and abroad.

The continued existence of the Council, in its present form and with its present programs is dependent on Government policy and on continuing funding by Parliament for the Council’s administration and programs.

The basis of preparation

The financial statements are general purpose financial statements and are required by section 42 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013:

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with:

  1. Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 (FRR) for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2015; and
  2. Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations – Reduced Disclosure Requirements issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period.

The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and in accordance with the historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the results or the financial position. The financial statements are presented in Australian dollars.

New accounting standards

Adoption of new Australian accounting standard requirements

The Council has applied AASB 9 from 1 July 2018. There has been no significant impact of this change on the Council’s financial statements. Trade and Other Receivables that were classified as loans and receivables under AASB 139 are now classified at amortised cost. Impairment Loss on Trade Receivables is shown in the Statement of Comprehensive Income. Previously, impairment of trade receivables was shown as Doubtful Debt Expense.

The Council has not early adopted and applied any new, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations that are not yet mandatory for the financial year ended
30 June 2019.

The Council intends to adopt new, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations in the operating year commencing 1 July after the effective date of these standards and interpretations as set out in the table below.




Operating year



Revenue from Contracts with Customers

1 January 2019

30 June 2020




1 January 2019

30 June 2020


Table notes

  1. These changes will not have a significant impact.
  2. The Council will introduce a single on-balance sheet accounting model for lessees and will recognises a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the underlying asset and a lease liability representing its obligation to make lease payments.

The Council will recognise new assets and liabilities for the lease of its new premises at 60 Union Street, Pyrmont. The nature of expenses related to those assets will now change because the Council will recognise a depreciation charge for right-of-use assets and interest expense on lease liabilities.

Previously, the Council recognised operating lease expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease and recognised assets and liabilities only to the extent that there was a timing difference between actual lease payments and the expense recognised.

Based on the information currently available the Council estimates it will recognise a right-of-use asset of $20,604,545 and a lease liability of $18,239,617 on 1 July 2019.


The Council is exempt from all forms of taxation except Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and Good and Services Tax (GST).

Events after the reporting period

The Council is not aware of any significant events that have occurred since the balance date which warrant disclosure in these financial statements.