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Sydney events funding under scrutiny after release of Destination NSW contracts

Sydney events funding under scrutiny after release of Destination NSW contracts
August 22, 2019

The NSW opposition has called for an independent review of funding for arts and cultural events following reports that senior NSW Government staff received free tickets and corporate hospitality to major Sydney arts and cultural events in exchange for NSW Government funding.

According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, as part of contracts with event organisers, Destination NSW demands tickets to shows in exchange for funding.

The Sydney Festival, Sydney Opera House and the Art Gallery of NSW were among the event organisers obliged to provide free tickets and corporate hospitality in exchange for public money.

The details of the contracts between NSW Government agency Destination NSW and event organisers were released after a four-year freedom of information battle.

Destination NSW had not wanted to release information relating to spending on major events such as Vivid, the Sydney Festival, musicals and art exhibitions claiming commercial “confidentiality”.

Commenting on the claims, a Destination NSW spokeswoman said in a statement that DNSW’s overall performance in attracting visitors has been “immensely successful”.

The statement added “a thorough assessment of each event is undertaken before it is supported by Destination NSW.

“There is a diversity of performance across events and lower performing events are less likely to be supported into the future.”

Destination NSW Chief Executive Sandra Chipchase made no comment.

Destination NSW now faces referral to the Ombudsman.

The NSW Government recently announced a $35 million cut to Destination NSW’s annual budget from $176 million to $141 million.

Image: Vivid Sydney has been a major success for Destination NSW.

Related Articles

19th June 2019 - NSW budget sees cuts for Destination NSW while arts in Sydney gets $800 million boost

18th June 2019 - Technical Direction Company helped thrill visitors during 2019 Vivid Sydney

12th June 2019 - Vivid Sydney attracts record long weekend attendances

1st May 2019 - Sydney CBD businesses are encouraged to prepare for 2019 Vivid Festival

20th March 2019 - Eventbrite announced as official Ticketing Partner of Vivid Sydney 2019

14th November 2018 - Destination NSW backs regional sporting events

3rd September 2018 - Report questions lack of transparency over Destination NSW spending

6th June 2017 - Destination NSW makes key appointment to push regional marketing

10th July 2016 - Healthway’s governance model changed after ticket scandal

21st March 2015 - Western Australian Government questions Healthway sponsorships

20th February 2015 - Western Australia’s Healthway board and staff in corporate ticketing rort

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