Mayor slams arts funding cutbacks
BLACKTOWN Mayor Stephen Bali has hit out at budget cuts that have stripped local arts programs of funding.
According to a recent analysis by Deloittes, Western Sydney has 9.5 per cent of the Australian population but only gets 1 per cent of federal arts funding.
The report also reveals Western Sydney has 29.4 per cent of the state’s population but only 5.5 per cent of the state’s arts funding.
By comparison, eastern Sydney has 10.7 per cent of the Australian population and gets 36 per cent of the arts funding, and 33.4 per cent of the state’s population and gets 87.2 per cent of the state’s arts funding.
“We’ve gone from being told by the Australia Council that they’re open to funding applications to being told the whole program is on hold,” Cr Bali said.
The impact of federal budget funding limitations on the Australia Council will be more far reaching than the government realises, Cr Bali said.
“Every arts body in Australia will feel cold wind blow through their artistic programs,” he said.
“In our case, we have lost the opportunity to grow our arts programs to better meet the needs of the residents of the largest local government area in NSW. We also lose the opportunity to provide employment and development opportunities for local and emerging artists.”