Cynthia Lui MP
Member for Cook
THE Palaszczuk Labor Government is lending a helping hand to indigenous arts centres around Cape York and Torres Strait which have taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, while Far North Queensland overwhelmingly supported the government’s border closures and restrictions, it meant a massive drop in sales during what was normally a lucrative tourist season.
She said the Indigenous Arts Uplift program aimed to support sustained practice and revenue opportunities for the First Nations artists community during the COVID-19 recovery period.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we want to make sure the arts centres are back on their feet,” Ms Lui said.
“They are a vital part of not just our culture in Far North Queensland, but our tousim industry as well.
“Eleven arts groups in the Cook electorate will share in a total of $470,000.”
Wik and Kugu Art Centre, Badu Arts, Yalanji Arts, Erub Arts, Hope Vale Arts and Cultural Centre, Lockhart River Arts, Moa Arts and Pormpuraaw Arts and Cultural Centre will each receive $45,000.
Bana Yirriji Art Centre and Gab Titui Cultural Centre will each receive $40,000 while Wei’Num Arts will receive $30,000.
Ms Lui said Queensland’s Indigenous art centres are an important part of community life and their artIsts’ work is much sought after.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ continued contribution to Queensland’s vibrant economic, social and cultural life,” she said.
“When Campbell Newman and the LNP were last in government, the arts sector was the first to be targeted for cuts.
“The LNP does not value the arts and cultural activities as an integral part of our lives either socially or economically.
“The Palaszczuk Government and I appreciate the hardships the arts groups have endured in Cook during the COVID-19 pandemic and we value their contribution to the local economy of each community.
“The LNP can’t be trusted to look after the arts sector in Cook.”
The Indigenous Arts Uplift program is supported under the Palaszczuk Government’s $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package, which Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
The Palaszczuk Government is implementing more than $42.5 million worth of initiatives to support the arts and cultural sector through the impacts of COVID-19.
Media Contact – Cook Electorate Office – 4223 1100