Funding cuts for Destination NSW puts some events in jeopardy

destination nsw
The Sydney Mardi Gras has been guaranteed funding despite smaller budget.

Destination NSW had its funding cut by $100 million by the previous Perrottet government leaving major events such as Sydney Festival, Fashion Week and the Australian Open of Golf in a funding lurch.

The new Minns government uncovered the funding shortfall that cut Destination NSW’s budget in half to just $100 million, but which was never released publicly, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

The funding cut puts Destination NSW in a difficult financial position with its multi-year investment agreements for events including the Sydney Festival, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Australian Fashion Week and Australian Open of Golf, Narooma Oyster Festival.

Jobs and Tourism Minister John Graham said the government would find the cash for Mardi Gras but other events may not be so lucky.

“A range of events will be impacted,” he said. “Of course we will find a way to fund next year’s Mardi Gras, but it leaves other events at risk.

“As a new government we are committed to bringing vibrancy back to Sydney. We will look for solutions through the budget process.”

Former Treasurer Matt Kean said the funding cut was simply a return to a post-pandemic normalcy.

“The adjustments are a reallocation of unspent COVID surge funding to areas that required urgent support,” he said of the decision late last year to cut Destination NSW funds.