The money question - the value of Art (part two)

The below continues thoughts raised in Queensland Literary Awards post, and specifically about the recent axing by the Newman State Government of the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.

For all LNP's gas about inheriting secret debt and saving money, $240K is peanuts (Particularly when $2.5 mil is pledged to renovating Government house, but that's another post). I totally believe this government is genuine in their goal of reaching budget surplus, but these blind cost-cuttings seem ill-advised, ill-structured, and ill-considered.

The cuts seem to be made without consideration to the ramification to the industry or community. And it reaches further than the writing community. A blanket percentage staff cut of public servants reflects a desire for savings, but a very poor understanding of the structure and operations of the public service. To cut a department of 12 to three people, without consultation is just stupid. And while cutting the QPLA affects far fewer jobs than the broad-reaching cuts to the public service, it's symptomatic of the governments attitude - cut first, worry about the workload later.

While certainly the long-term contracted employee is a problem and needed addressing, to cancel those contracts without consideration or recourse....what about the burden these people will now place on the job market? More importantly, what about the work that is now being left undone?

I offer no suggestion. All arguments lead back to the LNP's primary claim of 'redeeming the budget', which in turn, leads us back to issue one - how much is the arts worth?

And, sadly, it's an argument that continues to be fought, and one that I'll no doubt come back to time and time again.


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