Victorian Budget 2023-24: what’s in it for the arts?

Live music, major cultural institutions and the digital games sector are among the beneficiaries of yesterday’s State Budget, though the Opposition is already criticising the figures.

Given that Premier Daniel Andrews had been warning of a tough budget for several months, many in the sector will probably have breathed a sigh of relief upon discovering the Victorian Budget 2023/24 – delivered by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas on Tuesday (24 May) – is not as punishing as they may have feared.

In total, the new Budget invests $478 million towards arts and cultural events generally; however, this figure also includes monies directed towards community sport and the Major Events calendar, so is less generous than it first appears.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts