New arts funding a boon for cultural tourism

The Baird government has strengthened Sydney’s reputation as a hub for the arts, announcing a major investment in cultural infrastructure. The Premier and Deputy Premier have confirmed that $202 million will be spent on the renewal of the Sydney Opera House and $139 million will go to improving the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.

Margy Osmond, Chief Executive of peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) said “this is great news for Sydney. The arts have been crying out for investment and this money will go a long way toward making Sydney a more attractive, more competitive destination not just within Australia, but across Asia.

“TTF has long advocated for increased arts funding and especially for the need to improve existing facilities at the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is arguably one of the most famous buildings in Australia and is at the top of every visitor’s ‘must see’ list, yet it is in dire need of investment. The projects outlined as part of this renewal will make a marked difference to the experience of visiting our most prized cultural icon.

“Similarly, the funding for the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct will allow further investment in what is an increasingly popular destination in Sydney. Anchored by the Sydney Theatre Company, the Walsh Bays Arts Precinct will become an internationally renowned cultural hub.

“This announcement again shows the benefits of asset recycling. The partial lease of the ‘poles and wires’ is a once in a generation opportunity to invest in infrastructure across the state – from cultural infrastructure, to public transport, roads, schools and hospitals.

“I congratulate the Baird government’s ongoing commitment to the cultural development of Sydney. Today’s announcement comes off the back of a $123 million funding boost for tourism.”

TTF will release a comprehensive agenda for tourism in NSW over the coming weeks.