Coun­try Arts calls for funds for re­gions

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Coun­try Arts WA has called for sig­nif­i­cant on­go­ing in­vest­ment into the arts across WA with the re­lease of its Re­gional Arts Pol­icy Frame­work last week.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion is ad­vo­cat­ing, ahead of next year’s State Elec­tion, to have cur­rent fund­ing lev­els con­tin­ued, with $24 mil­lion in­vested in four years in re­gional arts through the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions Cre­ative Re­gions Pro­gram.

CAWA is lob­by­ing for con­tin­ued re­gional arts fund­ing of $24 mil­lion from 2020 to 2024, as well as an ad­di­tional $19 mil­lion in the same pe­riod to ad­dress un­met needs and de­liver new pro­grams and ini­tia­tives.

CAWA chair­man Ross Beck­ett said in­vest­ing in a thriv­ing arts, cul­ture and cre­ative sec­tor was an in­vest­ment in the State’s fu­ture.

“Arts and cul­ture have a key role to play in making re­gional com­mu­ni­ties live­able, ac­ces­si­ble, dy­namic and di­verse places to live,” he said.

“Hun­dreds of jobs have been cre­ated in the last 12 months ... and there have been pos­i­tive flow-on ef­fects for lo­cal economies such as in­creased tourism as well as greater so­cial and cul­tural vi­brancy.

“Our re­search showed that for ev­ery $1 in­vested in 2015-16, re­gional arts or­gan­i­sa­tions lever­aged a fur­ther $3.”

The ad­di­tional $19 mil­lion would go to­wards in­vest­ment in Abo­rig­i­nal art cen­tres, es­tab­lish­ment of a cul­tural part­ner­ship pro­gram, ex­pan­sion of tour­ing pro­grams for schools, men­tor­ing for youth art pro­grams, in­vest­ment into West Australian Mu­sic’s re­gional pro­gram and sup­port for vis­ual arts.

Cham­ber of Arts and Cul­ture WA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Henry Bos­ton said there was a lack of fa­cil­i­ties in re­gional WA.

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