NSW Shadow Minister for Local Government, Peter Primrose was joined by Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp and Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison to discuss Labor’s commitment to increase overall funding to all suburban and regional NSW public libraries by $50 million.
This will include a $25 million Public Library Infrastructure Fund and a doubling of the per capita funding subsidy from $1.85 to $3.70 – in the first term of government.
Currently, NSW has the lowest per capita investment by a State government in libraries in Australia. Tasmania and South Australia made the highest contributions.
In 2016-17, the total local government expenditure on public libraries was $335.1 million, and the total state government expenditure was $28.3 million.
The funding would help the State’s 368 public libraries to upgrade facilities, purchase equipment and “foster a love of books and learning” amongst the next generation of Australians.
This is about providing children with the best opportunity to explore and develop a love of reading and learning.
Quotes attributable to NSW Shadow Minister for Local Government:
“Libraries connect local people with information, with services, and with each other. Labor recognizes the value of local libraries and will deliver the resources they need.”
“Not only will Labor double library funding, we will protect libraries into the future by linking their funding to the Consumer Price Index.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Newcastle:
“This Government has the wrong priorities. A Labor Government will invest in schools, hospitals and libraries.
“Many of us started our lifelong journey of education at the local library. I know that my kids have all enjoyed a love of reading from their local library.
“Local Government is doing more than its fair share and it is time the State Government contributed its fair share.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Charlestown:
“Public access to libraries is a great leveller in any society however the Berejiklian Government undervalues the role they play in our communities by cutting their budgets.”
“As we have moved increasingly towards using the internet as a source of information, it’s important that libraries have proper funding to support people in their search for knowledge. Labor will do this.”