Saffin: Labor to increase arts funds
NORTHERN Rivers Conservatorium students and patrons will benefit from Labor's $40 million Regional Conservatorium Fund if the party is elected, Country Labor candidate for Lismore Janelle Saffin said.
Saffin was joined by Shadow Minister for the Arts Walt Secord last week to discuss Labor's commitment to rural and regional arts at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre.
Mr Secord said Labor will ensure that Lismore and the North Coast got its fair share as part of its comprehensive plan to divert funds from Sydney in order to properly support the arts across NSW.
Mr Secord said a Daley Labor Government will redirect savings from cancelling the controversial Powerhouse relocation towards supporting arts and culture in regional and rural NSW.
These funds would go towards doubling the Regional Cultural Fund to $200 million, provide more funding for public libraries, and introducing a $40 million Regional Conservatorium of Music fund to support music and students outside Sydney.
"This is about ensuring that rural and regional NSW get their fair share of arts and culture funding,” Mr Secord said.
"The Liberals and Nationals are too Sydney-focused and have the wrong priorities. They are splurging billions on stadiums in Sydney, but failing to properly support arts and culture in the regions.”
Ms Saffin said a share of funds would go to Lismore-based Northern Rivers Conservatorium, known locally at 'The Con', to help expand services in the local region.
"We are so proud of the work of regional conservatoriums across the State. That is why Labor is investing more than $40 million into regional consortiums,” she said.
"I very much support the great work of our local Northern Rivers Conservatorium and commend their Board, management and teachers.”
'The Con' supports around 370 students per week who are learning a musical instrument, while 450 students at Northern Rivers schools benefit from the Conservatorium's Music in Schools program, providing them with access to conservatorium tutors during school hours.
"Apart from the obvious benefits of teaching children music, they also boost the confidence of young people - which impacts on all aspects of their lives and our communities.”