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The NSW budget has thrown the future of regional arts into jeopardy by stripping guaranteed funding to all 15 Regional Arts Development Organisations (RADOs).

Under the Minns Labor Government’s new Arts and Cultural Funding program, RADOs will no longer receive their $185,000 in annual support but will be forced to compete with major metropolitan groups.

It means they won’t be able to advocate for local artists and run programs to attract and develop talent.

Shadow Minister for the Arts Kevin Anderson is calling on the Treasurer to reverse the decision to ensure the $2.8 million will be allocated to rural and remote communities.

“Slashing funding from Regional Arts Development Organisations is a major betrayal by this Government, that promised to support regional arts through its Creative Communities policy just six months ago,” Mr Anderson said.

“Now we have a situation where RADOs will have to apply for their share in a competitive round, creating widespread distress and uncertainty.

“I have real concerns that this decision could lead to creative black holes across NSW, with no outlet or pathway for artists or audiences who choose to live in the regions.

“This could see the sector return to the dark ages, where only the wealthy, or those who are able to travel, have access to the arts.

“I’m calling on the Minns Labor Government to give artists in the bush the same opportunities as those in the city by undoing this reckless move.”

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