Library funding cuts are hurting

Director of the Richmond-Tweed Regional Library, Martin Field, is down in Sydney today (Thursday, November 29) protesting against state government funding cuts.

He said the state government used to provide 24 per cent of library funding, but over the years it had been eroded down to less than seven per cent, with local government calling it shameless cost shifting as it is expected to keep picking up the shortfall.

Its got to stop, Mr Field said. Especially with rate pegging (local government) just cant continue to pay the state governments bills.

Mr Field said no other state or territory contributed less than 19 per cent of the total cost of library funding, so NSW was a stand-out.

Mr Field said over 100 delegates would be meeting down in Sydney for a seminar which was being held in Macquarie Street, directly opposite Parliament House, to try and get the attention of state politicians. Meanwhile, some libraries had also chosen to close for the day in protest.

He said the Shadow Minister for Arts, Jillian Skinner, would be addressing the seminar and invitations had also been issued to Minister for Arts Frank Sartor and premier Morris Iemma.

The delegates had also asked to meet with treasurer Michael Costa, who had been boasting about achieving a surplus.

Were saying anybody can achieve a surplus by failing to pay their bills, Mr Field said.


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