WA deserves more arts funding

The Chamber of Arts and Culture WA has called for more equitable Federal Government investment in Western Australia's cultural sector.


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I think it's time that we all looked at how the arts are supported in Western Australia. There is some great grass roots work being done by individuals and community based organisations here, but there seems to be a disconnect between the arts community and the broader community - leading to a lack of investment and support by government and (with a few notable exceptions) the corporate sector. Perhaps the arts community in WA inhabits a niche that is seen as elitist or lacking relevance to the broader community? A vibrant arts scene is important for Perth particularly if it is to become a home for the next generation of highly skilled, highly educated people who are so important to the future of this State. Government has an important role to play both from a funding and policy perspective to foster a stronger arts scene in WA. Not everyone who calls Perth home lives for the beach. I see many young people (I was one of them) who head for the sights and sounds of Melbourne (or Sydney, or London). They leave here with raw potential that could take them anywhere, but by the time they return to Perth their careers have often been established in industries that are not represented here. This is talent that is essentially lost to WA industry. Of course, increasing arts funding will not instantaneously deliver all the "social health" benefits mentioned by Mr Walsh - there are many other elements that must come into play - but this is an important piece of the puzzle and it deserves as much attention as debates about other social infrastructure/investment - such as sporting stadiums.

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