LPA Calls For Gov Funding

Live Performance Australia, which represents 400 associations and companies in the live performance industry, has called on the Australian Government to deliver initiatives to deliver jobs and growth in its upcoming budget on May 3. 

It wants the government’s arts funding body, the Australia Council For The Arts, to be returned the A$72.8 million ($56.1 million) over four years it took last year in an unpopular move to fund an alternate funding scheme called Catalyst that will support a wider range of creative programs.

An intense campaign by arts groups led to a parliamentary inquiry and the appointment of a new arts minister.

The sector claimed it would see the collapse of many associations, fewer new works and international touring, and more creative and technical talent forced out of the country.

LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson said, “The government and Treasurer have stated that the upcoming Budget will be focused on jobs and growth. We are very concerned that due to the unprecedented funding cuts to the Australia Council last year and impending funding announcements next month, we expect to see 40% of our small to medium companies lose funding and face going under.

“That’s 18 to 20 companies that won’t be creating new productions, hundreds of people out of work and lost revenue. These cuts will have huge flow on effects impacting all parts of our industry including the major companies and commercial sector.”

According to LPA figures, Australia’s live performance industry employs 34,000 people and generates gross output of A$2.5 billion ($1.9 billion). Richardson also pointed that of the A$12 million ($9.2 million) allocated per annum for four years for the Catalyst scheme, only A$1.6 million ($1.2 million) has been allocated to date.

“The government must commit to delivering the rest of the Catalyst funding,” Richardson emphasised. “We do not want to see government pocket A$10 million-plus ($7.7 million) it allocated to our industry.”