Library funds slashed, say Public Libraries Assoc

Lismore Library. Photo Bruce H Kennewell

Claims that library services across the state will be axed by 18 per cent have been refuted by local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin, yet with new funding arrangements, the outcome for libraries appears still unclear. 

According to the peak body representing libraries across NSW, $5.275m in funding for local libraries has been slashed in the recently announced 2018–19 budget.

NSW councils manage library services on behalf of the state government, and NSW Public Libraries Association (NSW PLA) president Dallas Tout says they represent a network of 368 public libraries across NSW.

Tout says, ‘The annual grants program (previously known as Library Development Grants and over the past four years, Public Library Infrastructure Grants) administered by the State Library of NSW, has been completely wiped out, accounting for $4m of the funding reduction.’

Yet local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin says the $5.275m figure claimed by NSW PLA is incorrect. He told The Echo, ‘The Public Library Infrastructure Grants program provided $15 million in funding over four years for infrastructure projects at local libraries, with most funding going to regional libraries.’

‘The Regional Cultural Fund will now fund public library infrastructure,’ he said. ‘Applications for round two of the fund open in mid-2018, with $5 million committed to fund public library infrastructure.

‘The NSW Liberal and Nationals government remains committed to supporting local libraries, particularly in regional areas.’

In reply, Dallas Tout said that under the proposed budget, the said infrastructure grants will only be open to regional applicants.

‘We are still waiting for clarification that this is a correct assumption. Other public organisations, for example museums, appear to have to now bid out of the same fund.

‘There’s no confirmation that the $5m is new funding.

‘The government have also reduced the recurrent funding to libraries by $1.3m in the 2018/19 budget.’

One response to “Library funds slashed, say Public Libraries Assoc”

  1. Tweed says:

    Watch out Nat’s the Liberals rightwingnutosphere Fereventti-Wells is advertising in local papers, don’t worry about the Labor Greens opposition, your real enemy the Liberal party is moving in on your turf.
    This is war!

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Your email address will not be published.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.