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Arts Precinct takes a hit

09 Jun 2016

Arts Precinct takes a hit Image

By Nicholas Li

Local Southbank arts institutions are up in arms after the Federal Government revealed it would be cutting funding to the industry in last month’s budget.

In its four year funding arrangements, the Australia Council announced it would cut $2 million of funding to Victorian institutions.   

The Confederation of Australian State Theatre Companies (CAST) says cuts would have a severe impact on the creative sector.

CAST includes Southbank-based members Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) and the Malthouse Theatre.

“It is virtually certain that a number of the key organisations defunded today won’t survive,” CAST said in a statement.

“Funding cuts at any level of the arts sector have a dramatic flow on effect throughout the industry – from independent artists to the major performing arts companies.”

The Victorian Minister for Creative Industries and local MLA, Martin Foley, said the cuts would put jobs at risk.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts are no different to Tony Abbott’s. He has delivered savage funding cuts that will undermine creative organisations, audiences and jobs,” he said.

The Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, said politicians should not determine arts funding.

“These decisions should be made by people’s peers not by politicians. It shouldn’t be the right of George Brandis sitting in Canberra to cut funding to a theatre and give it to some gallery that a mate of his is running in Queensland,” he said.

“There’s some gallery in Queensland that no one’s ever heard of that got $450,000 from this fund.”

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