Heritage Festival and Awards under threat as funding slashed

Heritage Festival
Photo: National Trust

The 2023 Heritage Festival and Heritage Awards has seen its funding slashed by the NSW government from $75,000 to $10,000.

National Trust (NSW) chief executive Debbie Mills said the event was now under threat of not happening at all after this year’s Heritage Festival attracted more than 74,000 guests to 210 events.

“We cannot envisage a way to hold these events as we have in the past without the continued investment of $75,000,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Heritage NSW said the National Trust has been offered advice on how to stage “a more cost-effective event”, but Labor’s heritage spokeswoman Penny Sharpe called on the government to reinstate the funding.

“It makes no sense to have cut the funding to the National Trust except perhaps payback for their ongoing advocacy for heritage, especially in Sydney,” she said.

“Heritage protection is under constant attack. With a tiny amount of money, the awards co-ordinated thousands of free heritage events where our heritage could be celebrated and enjoyed.”