Mayor slams arts fund­ing cut­backs

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - What do arts pro­grams pro­vide for the young peo­ple of West­ern Syd­ney? @the­druitt

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.”

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