Federal Money for Australian Orchestras Contingent on Increased State Funding

Classic Arts News   Federal Money for Australian Orchestras Contingent on Increased State Funding
The Australian government's A$25 million funding package for its state orchestras could be withdrawn if the states don't step up their own funding, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Rod Kemp, federal minister for the arts, said, "Our funding has always been conditional."

The federal funding, announced earlier this month, is intended to improve the financial and administrative sustainability of the state orchestras, and was a reprieve from the suggestion, made in a government-commissioned report by James Strong, that some of the orchestras downsize in order to regain their financial footing.

In the new budget, A$3.6 million would go, over four years, to the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony. If the New South Wales government doesn't come up with A$820,000, however, the money could disappear.

In the state's budget, released on May 24, there was no indication that any such money was forthcoming, although a spokeswoman for the arts ministry said that negotiations were continuing.

Adrian Collette, chief executive of Opera Australia, said if the New South Wales government didn't find the money to support the orchestras, it would be "very disappointing."

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