Arts and culture revamp promises to unleash creativity

Improved music festival stages, cultural tourism opportunities and plans for a second major film studio have been revealed as elements of a NSW arts policy overhaul.

The Labor state government committed to safeguarding and modernising workplace conditions for artists as it unveiled a 10-year policy to grow the arts, culture and creative industries sector.

The policy includes a Youth Creative Taskforce to advise the minister and a cultural space audit to identify underused infrastructure that could be allocated to the arts.

Policy goals also include enhanced cultural tourism in NSW, improved staging for music festivals and concerts and better promotion of local cultural events.

The government will develop a business case for a second major film studio in Sydney and make Callan Park, a green community space on the Parramatta River, available for filming on an ongoing basis.

The plan will also require the minister to provide a "creative statement" to parliament every three years with details of the status, health and progress of the state's arts, culture and creative industries. 

Western Sydney will benefit from an investment to increase staff support for creative initiatives, and a $160 million commitment to cultural infrastructure in the area.

In regional NSW, the government will work with local councils to reduce red tape for festivals and events while supporting at least four new creative industries or artist workspaces in the regions over the next four years.

The policy revamp will aim to fix the creative trade deficit, where Australians are consuming more stories from other places than locally.

Arts and Tourism Minister John Graham said the full weight of the government would be behind the policy to drive investment and increase the value of culture in NSW. 

"This policy is a call out to the next generation of cultural leaders to step forward ... we really want to see those people step forward, supported by government, to drive this into the future," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Creative sectors represent 10 per cent of the state's economy, but was an industry growing nearly twice as fast as the rest of the economy, Mr Graham added. 

"I want to make it clear though, government won't be doing all of this ... this will be government-enabled, but it has to be sector-led as you move to this broader vision of what the creative sectors are in the state," he said. 

"But the government will be there as an advocate, as an enabler and as a key investor."

Live Performance Australia said a long-term policy framework would help to reshape the way the government made decisions.

"In implementing the policy, it will be vitally important to sustain and strengthen our existing cultural infrastructure and assets while identifying new opportunities for development and growth," chief executive Evelyn Richardson said.

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