Tasmanian Arts Sector Under Threat

At today’s packed public hearing inquiring into cuts to arts funding, witnesses expressed deep concern about the future of the Tasmanian arts sector given the Government’s harsh cuts to the Australia Council in the 2015/16 budget.

THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC, MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

SENATOR CATRYNA BILYK

DEPUTY OPPOSITION WHIP IN THE SENATE

SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

 

TASMANIAN ARTS SECTOR UNDER THREAT

At today’s packed public hearing inquiring into cuts to arts funding, witnesses expressed deep concern about the future of the Tasmanian arts sector given the Government’s harsh cuts to the Australia Council in the 2015/16 budget.

“We heard today that Tasmanian festivals and events won’t go ahead and organisations will close due to the Australia Council funding changes”, Senator Bilyk said. “Minister Brandis is directly responsible for destroying opportunities to tell Tasmanian stories”.

Senator Brandis has ripped $105 million away from the Australia Council to set up this new fund under his own control.

“The impact of Senator Brandis’s attack on the Australia Council will be felt hardest in smaller states and in regional Australia,” said Mr Dreyfus. “Arts organisations which make such an important contribution to these communities will struggle to stay afloat. This change must be reversed.”

“These cuts are a direct attack on the Tasmanian arts community, which is almost entirely composed of the small-to-medium organisations that stand to lose out under Senator Brandis’ new slush fund,” Senator Bilyk said.

The committee also heard that it is much more difficult for Tasmanian organisations to gain philanthropic donations.

“We heard that in Tasmania we don’t have the capacity to leverage big corporate partners to fill the gap when funding is stripped by Government,” Senator Bilyk said.

THURSDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2015