Both Marcus Westbury and Nick Pickard lead their blogs with strongly critical posts about recent reports that the NSW government is about to commit to spending $1 billion to renovate Joern Utzon’s iconic Sydney Opera House.
As Westbury writes, “this decision is one that is so staggeringly out of touch with the realities of cultural policy at the moment that it is scary.”
As usual, I find myself in agreement with much of what Marcus writes (more of that below). However, I think there is every reason to be far more optimistic about this decision than the initial outrage from the various unfunded parts of the arts community suggests. It may be that this decision will actually materially advance the cultural policy debate in Australia, by motivating the various forgotten voices in the arts community to finally coalesce into a coherent movement for change.