Liverpool City Council has raised the alarm on the massive shortfall of arts funding going to Western Sydney, noting the vital role a thriving arts and cultural sector plays in social cohesion, innovation and economic growth.
Liverpool City Council Acting CEO Dr Eddie Jackson has written to Federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher and NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin requesting an increase in arts funding for Western Parkland City local government areas.
Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said the Western Parkland City region was one of the fastest growing areas in Australia and increased funding would allow Council to deliver much more in the arts sector.
“A third of the population of NSW lives in Western Sydney yet according to a Sydney Business Chamber report, we receive just 5.5 per cent of the state’s cultural arts, heritage and events funding, and a tiny 1 per cent of Commonwealth arts program funding,” Mayor Waller said.
“Those numbers speak for themselves and it’s a shameful message, especially given the pressure the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is putting on
“Those numbers speak for themselves and it’s a shameful message, especially given the pressure the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is putting on the budgets of core cultural institutions such as Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.”
Mayor Waller said arts and culture activities helped promote community engagement, social cohesion and wellbeing and help make Liverpool a great place to live, work and visit.
“But they also promote innovation, economic growth and urban renewal,” she said.
“A thriving arts and culture sector is not a luxury but a crucial foundation on which to build a prosperous future for our growing population.
“More funding will help us provide arts infrastructure and opportunities close to people’s homes and to make the most of opportunities presented by Western Sydney International Airport and Western Sydney Aerotropolis.”
Note: Western Parkland City is comprised of the eight councils of Liverpool, Fairfield, Camden, Campbelltown, Wollondilly, Penrith, the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury.