Friday, 17 June 2016 15:13

30,000 arts jobs needed to tackle deficit

Performance at the Joan Sutherland Centre, Penrith. Performance at the Joan Sutherland Centre, Penrith.

Media release, 16 June, 2016

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) have called for greater federal investment Western Sydney arts in order help the region tackle its rising jobs deficit.

WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said our federal leaders have recognised the importance of addressing Western Sydney’s jobs deficit, however there has been no commitment to building the West’s cultural and creative industries.

“Western Sydney’s overall jobs deficit currently sits at 200,000. Of those who leave the region for work each day, 30,000 are employed in the creative and cultural industries,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“If our federal leaders are serious about building a prosperous, diverse and innovative economy in Western Sydney they will look to increased arts funding for the region,” he said.

“In 2015 a report revealed that the federal government invests just one per cent of its federal arts budget in Western Sydney.

“This is despite the West being home to one in 10 Australians who spend just as much on cultural activities as their eastern counterparts,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Since this report was released, there has been no noticeable change in funding at the federal level, except cuts to the Australia Council for the Arts,” he said.

“As a result, we continue to see tens of thousands of residents leave the region on a day to day basis and invest their talent elsewhere,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Today, almost all of Western Sydney’s cultural venues are largely funded by local councils and their communities.

“While councils play an integral role in building and developing the region’s grass roots talent, lack of federal assistance puts an unfair burden on local governments, which are not, at their core, arts bodies.

“Councils can only afford to offer small project-based grants, which give little certainty to artists and cannot facilitate the ongoing, strategic development our local creative industries need to grow and flourish in the long term,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“With the funding to retain and nurture home grown talent, Western Sydney would have the opportunity to build its creative industries, generating local employment for the 30,000 arts and cultural workers who leave the region each day.

“Western Sydney’s abundant cultural diversity and strong global connections are one of its greatest assets. With ongoing strategic support, Western Sydney has the potential to be Australia’s premier cultural mecca,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Starving the West of funding to develop its arts and cultural industries is not only a failure tackle the region’s jobs deficit, it is a failure to recognise one of the region’s most significant and largely untapped resources,” he said.



Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


Related content:

Federal Election: 2016: Arts and culture

Ten reasons to invest in Western Sydney arts (Published 1 June, 2016)

Better arts funding offers broader benefits (Published 7 June, 2016)

Media release: Powerhouse Museum will move west (Published 18 February, 2016)


Last modified on Friday, 17 June 2016 15:49

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