Industry body Live Performance Australia (LPA) has warned that proposed budget cuts could cost hundreds of jobs and cause permanent damage to Australian performing arts. AUD72.8m (€46.9m) was cut from Australia Council for the Arts in 2015, and LPA believe this must be restored to ensure ‘the longer term viability of our small to medium companies.’
‘The legacy of these cuts announced in the 2015 budget will be realised within the next fortnight when up to 40 per cent of our small to medium companies are likely to be informed they will lose their funding at the end of this year,’ said LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson. ‘This will potentially see 20 companies close their doors, costing hundreds of jobs.’
LPA estimates performing arts are worth AUD2.5b to the Australian economy, and employs more than 34,000 people. 18 million people see performing arts shows each year – a figure which far outstrips sporting events.
LPA president Andrew Kay said: ‘This is not a cut to the arts. This is a full scale cull. We expect to see 40 per cent 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 creative and talented Australians out of work and lost revenue.’