Tuesday 19 May 2015
Daniel Andrews’ Phantom Arts Budget
The 2015-16 State Budget includes the axing of $13.5 million of Arts programs over the next three years.
Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley refused to confirm funding for these programs when questioned by PAEC.
Key regional promises including The Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Sovereign Hill By Night and The Ararat Arts Precinct have all been left in limbo, with no dollar amount or start date for these projects listed in the budget.
The former Government costed and promised The Geelong Performing Arts Centre project at $35 million; Labor has failed to match this promise in the budget.
Labor’s promised $10 million for programs – including their ‘Music Hub’ and ‘Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame’ – has received only $300,000 in planning money for the next four years.
In only 30 minutes of scrutiny by the Public Accounts & Estimates Committee, Martin Foley was forced to admit that there is no certainty for Arts funding in this budget, which includes $13.5 million in program cuts in 2016-17, according to the Budget forward estimates.
The Labor Government’s budget also fails to provide certainty for promised regional projects.
Martin Foley only faced 30 minutes of PAEC scrutiny as Minister for the Creative Arts, including only one question from the Opposition members.
Quotes attributable to Heidi Victoria, Shadow Minister for Arts and Culture:
“Daniel Andrews claims to support the Arts in Victoria, but when you scratch the surface and look carefully at the budget, it is clear that with Daniel Andrews it’s all talk, and no action.”
“There is a $13.5 million cut to the Arts in this budget, with programs being axed from next year.”
“Daniel Andrews loves attending openings and making promises, but fails to deliver real money for the Arts community in Regional Victoria.”
“For the Arts this is a phantom budget, filled with phantom promises.”