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 OAM is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend, and was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize in 2020. In 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Green Room Awards Association. Most recently, Richard received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in June 2024. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts