Hand back funds to deliver jobs and growth says Live Performance Australia

TC BGTC Storm Boy photo by Brett BoardmanLive Performance Australia (LPA) has called on the Federal Government to hand back funds to deliver jobs and growth for the live performance industry in the upcoming Federal Budget on May 3.

“The Government and Treasurer have stated that the upcoming Budget will be focused on jobs and growth,” said LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson. “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 percent 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. We are particularly concerned about losing our creative and technical talent who may be forced to go offshore for work and career development opportunities.

“We may also see a decline in new Australian works and international touring. These outcomes will be in sharp contrast to the Government’s claims to be supporting innovation, economic growth and job creation. If the Government is serious about an innovation agenda designed to deliver growth and jobs we expect to see the Budget return the $72.8 million over 4 years it took from the Australia Council last year so that our major funding body can deliver its Strategic Plan, including investing in the small to medium sector.”

“We would also expect to see any Catalyst money not committed rolled over to ensure that new projects can be supported. The Government allocated $12m per annum for four years but to date has only announced $1.6m in projects. The Government must commit to delivering the rest of the Catalyst funding. We do not want to see Government pocket more than $10m that it allocated to our industry.”

“The live performance industry employs 34,000 people and generates gross output of $2.5 billion. It supports more than 500 performing arts companies around Australia, and attracts more than 18 million Australians to shows in capital cities, regional centres and country towns.”

“More Australians in a year will see a live show than AFL, NRL, A-League, Super Rugby, Test Cricket and the Big Bash combined. It’s time for the Government to step up and deliver,” concluded Ms Richardson.

For more information, visit: www.liveperformance.com.au for details.

Image: Sydney Theatre Company and Barking Gecko Theatre Company co-production of Storm Boy – photo by Brett Boardman