'The Australia Council was formed as an interim Council in 1973 and was given statutory authority by the Australia Council Act 1975. It replaced an earlier, non-statutory, body called the Australian Council for the Arts which was established in 1968 as a division of the Prime Minister's Department. The Council subsumed other arts-related government functions, such as the Commonwealth Literary Fund, which had supported needy writers since 1908, and the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, which was set up in 1912 to develop a national art collection and, from 1927, to advise on matters relating to the visual arts. The Australia Council was granted considerably expanded functions and greater independence from government in its policy-making and funding roles than its predecessors. As with similar bodies in Canada and New Zealand, the Australia Council's structure and functions were based on those of the Arts Council of Great Britain.'