It was great to represent Minster for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres at the Campbelltown Arts Centre with exhibition commissioned by the gallery by local artist Nola Tegel as part of Campbelltown's 200th anniversary. 

The NSW Government recognises the crucial role that the arts play in supporting the economic and social well-being of our community.

Furthermore, we know the arts generate visitation and tourism-related expenditure for our state and Greater Sydney, which is why we remain committed to supporting the businesses, innovators and changemakers who push the creative industries forward.

The strategic pillars of the NSW Government’s new Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 highlight the importance of showcasing our strengths through our activities, and facilitating growth through investing in infrastructure, job creation, industry resilience and sustainability and future planning.

There is no doubt that the Campbelltown Arts Centre meets both of these objectives.

As a loved and valued community hub established in 2005, the Campbelltown Arts Centre embodies the strength that comes from collaboration, creativity and shared vision.

Western Sydney boasts an innovative arts and cultural sector, which is attracting new audiences and providing significant growth opportunities for the local community.

As such, State and local governments have invested significantly in the region to strengthen and expand the network of facilities to support these initiatives.

It’s cultural infrastructure and content such as these that not only attract visitors to our state and regions, but also inspire us and enrich our lives.

Over the years, Campbelltown Arts Centre has contributed greatly to the artistic landscape of Western Sydney.

Since its opening, Campbelltown Arts Centre has been connecting the local community through exhibitions and community programs and events.

Tonight, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to see the gallery's commissioned artwork by local artist Nola Tegel. Who better to capture the shape and life and spirit of the Campbelltown area than an alumnus of Campbelltown High?

This collaboration between Campbelltown Arts Centre and Nola Tegel has given us a chance to look at places we are all probably very familiar with, and experience them like never before.

I don’t have to tell you that Western Sydney is one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia. It has 47% of Greater Sydney’s residents, and over the next 20 years, its population is expected to increase by 50% to over three million.

Western Sydney is also one of the State’s most multicultural regions, with the local population representing over half the world’s nations. It is also home to NSW’s largest population of Aboriginal people.

Western Sydney is world-renowned for celebrating innovation, diversity, inclusion, and creativity, which aligns perfectly with the purpose of this brilliant arts centre, complementing the unique, diverse and creative landscape of the Macarthur region and beyond.

There is a real buzz about the creative industries in Western Sydney right now, and this is underpinned by the passion of the local community and the spirit of collaboration between the NSW Government and industry stakeholders to grow, evolve and inspire.

The development of the new Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta and the spectacular performance venue the Sydney Coliseum Theatre at Rooty Hill pave the way for community venues, artists and production companies to establish their roots here in Western Sydney and engage with art-loving audiences to showcase their work.

Meanwhile the NSW Government, through Create NSW, is undertaking work to map the art and cultural landscape of Western Sydney to understand the opportunities the creative industries can play in developing the region.

While 2020 was undoubtedly a difficult year for many of us, there is still so much to celebrate.

Last week, my colleague the Hon. Don Harwin, Minister for the Arts announced an additional $1.39 million in arts funding through the NSW Government’s 2021/2022 Local Government Authorities (LGA) funding round.

This increases the NSW Government investment for Create NSW’s 2021/22 LGA funding round to more than $3.26 million across 32 Councils, and I encourage those involved with the arts to visit the Create NSW website for more information on how to get involved.

You may also be aware of the NSW Government’s Dine and Discover program, which encourages members of the community to get out and about and support local businesses including galleries and cultural institutions, tourism attractions, hospitality providers and more.

I am pleased to know that the Campbelltown Arts Centres is part of and will receive the benefit of this NSW Government stimulus program by welcoming Sydneysiders and NSW residents who visit to use their $25 Discover vouchers at the venue.

Congratulations again to the Campbelltown Arts Centre and Ms Tegel, who have perfectly captured glimpses of Campbelltown’s history amongst an ever-changing landscape, celebrating both our past, present and future, as we recognise our regions rich history.