Labor's policy a boost for local arts

Labor has announced a comprehensive arts and cultural policy for all of NSW, to ensure rural and regional communities can also experience world class music, theatre, dance, literature, and visual arts.

“We want kids growing up in communities across the Monaro, from Braidwood to Jindabyne, to experience world class dance, music, and art,” said Bryce Wilson, Country Labor candidate for Monaro.

“This commitment to lifting investment for arts and culture is great news for people who live in, and visit our region.”

A KPMG report commissioned by Create NSW last year concluded that for every $1 spent on arts, screen and cultural activities, the overall benefit for the NSW economy is $1.88, almost doubling the original investment.

“This policy is great news for towns like Braidwood, where this is already an existing vibrant arts community”, said Mr Wilson. “It will bring much-needed funding into these communities to enable more people to access art and music events, as well as providing a boost to local economies”.

Shadow Arts Minister Walt Secord has announced a comprehensive plan to boost arts funding, and bring a wider variety of arts and cultural experiences to regional centres and small towns.

“We know the importance of the arts for developing not just communities, but also regional economies across NSW,” said Mr Secord.

“While the Liberals and Nationals are spending $2.2 billion knocking down stadiums in Sydney, Labor will proudly invest more in regional arts and culture.”

“We want all of our communities, no matter how far they are from the Opera House, to enjoy their fair share of our vibrant arts and culture.”

A Labor Government will invest an additional $100 million to double the size of the Regional Cultural Fund to $200 million. Labor will also allow the scheme to provide funding for staffing and developing programs, recommended by the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Museums and Galleries.

The Regional Cultural Fund supports a wide range of projects. Communities have sought assistance to upgrade and refurbish galleries and theatres, purchase equipment, and commission public art, including sculptures, permanent installations, murals and street art.

Highlights of the Labor’s plan to support arts and culture across regional NSW include:

  • Doubling the Regional Cultural Fund to $200 million;
  • Better funding for public libraries in country towns, and properly indexing funding to CPI;
  • Introducing a $40 million Regional Conservatorium fund to support music education in the bush;
  • Within six months of forming government, Labor will work with stakeholders to develop a Strategy for the Arts in Rural and Regional NSW through Create NSW; and
  • Significant funding for individual museum, gallery, and culture projects.