NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner assures arts and culture on Coffs Coast still a priority despite closure of Trade of Investment Office.
NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner assures arts and culture on Coffs Coast still a priority despite closure of Trade of Investment Office. Trevor Veale

Stoner: Arts/culture won't be hurt

THE North Coast's arts and culture sector will not be hurt by the sudden withdrawal of two of region's key creative funding arms.

That was the pledge from NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner's camp following Friday's closure of both the Coffs Harbour and Tweed Trade and Investment Offices.

Both offices provided vital funding for the region's creative network including the North Coast branch of Screenworks Australia.

On Saturday, just hours after the were locked for good, Mr Stoner launched new creative industries task force which appeared to be Sydney focussed.

On Sunday night a spokeswoman for Mr Stoner's office said the closures would have no impact on regional projects and funding for Screenworks would be a taskforce priority.

She said the government had closed offices around the state to make way for a new funding system providing "targeted support" for local businesses under the Small Biz Connect program.

She also flagged the government's continual support of Arts Northern Rivers, which has been promised $136,000 in funding from the state's art's department this year.

Representatives from Coffs Harbour have been invited to take part in the Creative Industries Forum which will be hosted by Mr Stoner tomorrow.
 



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