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CANBERRA, Jan 23 AAP

January 23 2013, 10:46AM

The federal government's National Cultural Policy will help drive the Australian economy, Arts Minister Simon Crean says.

The final policy was due late last year but has still not been delivered.

Mr Crean said the cost of implementing the policy was yet to be determined by the expenditure review committee and cabinet.

The minister said the arts were important for their own sake but also brought broader benefits for the nation.

"In a global economy the competitive advantage is going to go to the creative societies and anything we can do to invest better in that which underpins creativity I think is going to have an economic, not just a social spin-off," Mr Crean told Sky News.

Mr Crean said the new policy looks at what the arts can do for the nation on a holistic level.

"If we want to aspire to an innovative, creative, adaptive nation, if we want to keep that ranking that we have got as one of the best performing economies in the world we have to drive creativity," Mr Crean said.

"That's why this has a return, this is not just a spend, it's an investment in the future."

Last year, a review recommended a shake-up of the Australia Council, the nation's primary funding body for the arts.

It recommended the council continue its focus on funding and promoting artistic excellence in all art forms but leave policy development and programs to the Office for the Arts.

A $21.25 million increase in annual funding is recommended to assist the change.

The government's formal response to the independent review will be part of the national cultural policy.