Friday, 15 September 2023
Media release

Joint support continues to rebuild NSW flood damaged arts and cultural infrastructure

Joint media release with the Hon John Graham MLC

A number of arts and cultural communities affected by severe weather and flood events in February and June last year will be supported to rebuild damaged arts and cultural infrastructure, as recovery support continues.

More than $21 million has been committed by the Albanese and Minns Governments for 26 projects supporting eligible arts and cultural organisations to continue to provide important cultural experiences to the community across eight Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The projects were successful through the second round of the Community Local Infrastructure Recovery Package – Arts and Cultural Assets Program, designed to support medium to long term recovery under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The recovery works will be undertaken in the Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Lismore, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, and Tweed LGAs.

Under this second round of the program, grants between $8000 and $5 million have been awarded for projects that will directly restore, replace and improve flood damaged arts and cultural infrastructure.

Communities on the North Coast of NSW are set to benefit, with nearly $15.5 million awarded for 12 projects within the Lismore City Council LGA, including to rebuild Lismore City Hall. The venue’s return will contribute to re-establishing Lismore’s night-time economy, employment of the creative workforce and Lismore’s reputation as a cultural hub for the region.

Additional information on the program, including a list of successful projects, can be found at www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding/clirp-arts-grants​

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said arts and cultural facilities were vital for our communities.

“During disasters, these facilities are often the hubs that support recovery and places of healing which provide residents, families and friends a sense of normalcy and comfort,” Minister Watt said.

“We recognise the important role these facilities play to hold communities together and we’re supporting their restoration through this program.

“Investing in these spaces means investing in the power of our communities by facilitating opportunities for locals to recover, helping reduce isolation and feelings of uncertainty, creating positive outcomes.”

NSW Minister for the Arts, John Graham said arts and culture is an essential part of the fabric of regional communities and the creative industries affected by the devastating flood events last year in these areas still need support.

“This program gives us an opportunity to assist local cultural organisations to aid the next stage of their recovery and rehabilitation.”

“To address these ongoing challenges, we have committed $21 million to facilitate the re-establishment and reopening of museums, arts venues, and community spaces.

“Through this funding, these vital establishments can once again serve as community hubs for creative activity, whilst nurturing the arts and culture in the communities they support.”

NSW Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said rebuilding is vitally important to help re-open arts, cultural and community spaces

“They are at the very heart of community life.

“We rely on our galleries, museums, and cultural hubs to revive our spirits and tell our stories and they are critical to the identity of our cities and towns.

“Investing in these spaces is about investing in the future of our communities so they can flourish.”

Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot said the Albanese Government knows that art and culture have the power to heal, inspire, and bring communities together.

“The North Coast is home for so many diverse and talented artists, writers, musicians, and creatives who contribute to the cultural vibrancy of our area.

“This grant funding will ensure our local arts and culture sector on the North Coast will continue to build resilience and thrive following the devastating floods in 2022,” Ms Elliot said.