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Government Promises $24 Million In Arts Funding, Ballet Gets Heaps, Sounds Australia Gets None

Written by Zanda Wilson on May 10, 2016

The Turnbull government has released details on how its new arts funding grants will be allocated, should it be re-elected.

From the the newly created Catalyst Australian Arts and Culture Fund, the big winners are set to be the Australian Ballet; who’ll receive $1 million, Circa Queensland who will get $840,000 – and Playwriting Australia and the National Library will receive $800,000 and $660,000 respectively.

According to a press release on Malcolm Turnbull’s official website, the Prime Minister’s own seat of Wentworth will also receive $496,000 for projects exclusively within the electorate.

However, Australia’s leading music export organisation and renowned industry body Sounds Australia failed to receive any funding whatsoever.

The announcement was made on the Catalyst website last Friday, just hours after Malcolm Turnbull called the July 2nd election.

The chief executive of Live Performance Australia Evelyn Richardson has slammed the roll-out of the government’s new proposed funding scheme as being “shambolic” in a statement, as well as criticising the ill-thought out arts funding model.

“Almost $24 million in funding grants has now been published on the Ministry For The Arts website, but the way in which the government has handled the funding announcement does nothing to build confidence in its approach to arts funding,” Richardson said.

She also criticised the government for rushing the allocation, by “committing up to half the four-year funding allocation for Catalyst in less than a week.”

Richardson went on to bemoan the apparent lack of any cohesive plan for the future of arts in Australia; “Our industry can deliver the jobs, growth and innovation that is important to Australia’s economic prosperity but for all the talk of plans, the Coalition doesn’t appear to have one for the live performance industry.”

The hashtag #catalyst has been rife with members of the public expressing their dissatisfaction with how the government has allocated the rollout, specifically on the top of Sounds Australia missing out entirely.

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