Eurobodalla Councillor Lindsay Brown has put further weight behind calling out the NSW State Government for their further reductions to library funding making the "Premier State" the lowest contributor per capita of any State or Territory in the country. Councillor Brown called for the Mayor to take, as a matter of urgency, a motion to the Joint Region Of Councils requesting that the NSW State Government overturn its decision to cut library funding and to inject funds into it to bring it up to comparable equity with other states. He said that NSW funding is considerably lower than all the other states across Australia. In support Councillor Pollock added that the NSW Governement contribution was a "pathetic amount and they have a real chance to do something decent" Councillor Brown noted that Tasmanian and ACT libraries are 100% funded by the government and that Sth Australia is funded to 40% "Locally we have more people going to the library than we have going to our swimming pools "We have a fundamental need to commit to our libraries" In a show of exasperation he said "Reducing spending when we have a West Connex blowout ... REALLY???? " "The State government should rethink this issue"
Above: Clr Brown calls out NSW State Liberals for their cuts to libraries "It's an absolute disgrace"
The NSW Liberal National Government budget handed down last week has seen funding to public libraries slashed by 18%. Reiterating the sentiment of Labor's response to the announcement last week he described libraries as being at the heart of our communities stating that they help promote lifelong learning; provide free access to information and are ‘hubs’ for people to meet and engage. He was passionate in his belief that libraries play a role in communities where people experience social isolation and may be the one place people come together to connect with their community. Leanne Atkinson, Candidate for Bega agrees “Public libraries are community hubs. Whether it is the older person sharpening their tech skills in a seniors group or a young parent and toddler at Rhyme Time, the local library plays an important role in connecting the community.” “There are a range of programs and services that our local libraries offer that go beyond borrowing a book.” “The Liberal National Government do not understand the needs of rural communities. This budget shows that the Liberals and Nationals have the wrong priorities.’’