Live Performance Australia calls on Coalition for funding clarity

Live Performance Australia calls on Coalition for funding clarity

Live Performance Australia (LPA) has called for clarity from the Coalition on its arts funding strategy following the shambolic announcement of Catalyst grants in the last few days.

LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said ‘The Government appears to have committed up to half the four-year funding allocation for Catalyst in less than a week.

‘Almost $24 million in funding grants has now been published on the Ministry for the Arts website, but the way in which the Government has handled the funding announcement does nothing to build confidence in its approach to arts funding.

‘The Minister has missed an important opportunity to provide some clarity and certainty around his approach to arts funding given the concerns that have previously been raised about the Catalyst program.

‘Our industry can deliver the jobs, growth and innovation that is important to Australia’s economic prosperity - but for all the talk of plans the Coalition doesn’t appear to have one for the live performance industry,’ Ms Richardson said.

The Catalyst funding also needs to be considered in the context of imminent cuts to Australia Council funding which could see up to 40 per cent of small to medium companies in the live performance industry forced to close by the end of this year.

LPA has been seeking a meeting with Minister Fifield to discuss funding issues for Australia’s $2.5 billion live performance industry. Meetings have been scheduled with the ALP and Greens in coming weeks.

LPA acknowledges the ALP’s commitment to return unspent Catalyst funds to the Australia Council. LPA is calling for the full $72.8 million over 4 years to be returned to the Australia Council to provide long term stability for small to medium companies, and to maintain and improve the transparency of the Catalyst program.