Curtains Close on Catalyst but Budget Fails to Deliver Encore Performance

Curtains Close on Catalyst but Budget Fails to Deliver Encore Performance

The Turnbull Government has repaired some of the damage done to Australia’s performing arts sector in the 2017/18 Budget, but it still lacks a long-term strategic vision for the live performance industry.

The Government is providing $90.2 million over five years from 2016-17 to return funding to the Australia Council which had been cut from the 2014 budget. (This includes a $10 million contribution from the Australia Council’s own reserves over two years.) This had been foreshadowed by the Minister for the Arts in March this year.

‘We welcome the restoration of funding to the Australia Council but the harsh reality is the cuts and uncertainty inflicted on small to medium performing arts companies over the past few years have already taken their toll,’ said LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson.

‘For some of our small to medium companies, it’s too little too late.

‘It is disappointing that the Turnbull Government hasn’t adopted any of the targeted measures proposed by LPA to stimulate investment and innovation in the live performance industry and to strengthen its contribution to the Australian economy,’ Ms Richardson said.

 ‘In recent years our industry has been hit by ongoing uncertainty over funding as well as increased costs through new visa charges for large touring groups.

‘The restoration of some stability after a disruptive period is welcomed, but our industry still needs a longer term vision.

‘We’re committed to working with the Government on a plan to support jobs and growth so we can genuinely look forward to better days ahead for Australia’s live performance industry,’ Ms Richardson said.

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