Funding cut could force writers’ centre to close

CENTRAL West Libraries committee chair Janelle Culverson says the Arts NSW decision to cut funding for the region’s writers’ centre is nothing more than a cost shifting exercise by an under-fire state government.

Central West Libraries received a letter in October confirming Arts NSW would not fund the Central West Writers’ Centre for 2014.

Ms Culverson said unless the group’s attempt to seek further funding for the project was successful, the writers’ centre would be forced to close by the end of the month.

She doesn’t expect that help to come from the NSW government.

“We’ve expressed our dissatisfaction at the move,” the Cabonne councillor said.

“We’ll be applying for more funding, at the moment that’s the only way we can do it. But it just appears to be another cost shifting exercise by a government already under pressure. It’s affecting five libraries.”

Orange, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra and Forbes rely on the Central West Writers’ Centre. All five use the state government-funded service to help support, develop and promote writing and reading and provide a network for writers. 

Ms Culverson had urged the library community to write letters to their local member, but in terms of keeping the centre alive the response had not been positive.

She said the centre’s closure would result in a swell of canned services, some of which had been extremely beneficial to the library-going community.

“It’ll mean monthly writers days are cancelled, and they’ve steadily been growing over the last couple of months. We won’t be able to hold book launches or any author visits. We didn’t see it coming.”

The position of Central West Libraries reading and writing coordinator will remain as is, with Jasmine Vidler continuing on in the role.

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