Arts funding ‘hoax’: $100m promise down to $25m a year

Shadow Arts Minister Walt Secord. Photo AAP Image/Mark Graham

Shadow Arts Minister Walt Secord. Photo AAP Image/Mark Graham

The Opposition has damned the NSW Government’s regional arts funding promise as ‘another cruel hoax’ after it was revealed a $100 million in grant funding promised earlier in the year only converts to a quarter of that figure per anum.

NSW Labor says the ‘fine print’ of the long awaited regional cultural fund shows ‘a mere $25 million spread across rural and regional communities’ this year.

NSW Shadow Arts Minister Walt Secord described the so-called Regional Cultural Fund earmarked for rural and regional NSW arts organisations as ‘pitiful’ compared to the ‘$600 million being spent in Sydney’s CBD.’

He likened it to other areas of government expenditure, where he said, ‘all of the funding is going to Sydney – with country areas fighting over a miniscule funding pool.’

In the June budget, the NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin boasted that they were providing $100 million in funding for regional and rural art galleries, museums and community halls.

But yesterday arts bureaucrats sent an email to organisations revealing that the amount available in 2017-18 is only $25 million.

The amount was revealed in a call for applications by State Government’s Create NSW.

Mr Secord said in response, that ‘the state Liberal-National government boasted that rural and regional communities would get their fair share; today, we see otherwise.

‘Sydney’s major cultural institutions receive more than $600 million, but rural and regional NSW only gets $25 million.

‘Once again, rural and regional areas are forced to fight over the scraps.

Mr Secord added the detail further penalised community groups in that they were ‘not allowed to apply for funding for staff or on-going operational expenditure.’

‘Sadly under the Nationals, rural and regional families are not getting their fair share from the state government; and this needs to change.

‘There was much excitement about the fund, but that has turned to disappointment,’ he said.

Applications for the Regional Cultural Fund are open until September 4.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.