A chance to have fun in our own backyard

WSROC president Councillor Stephen Bali

WSROC president Councillor Stephen Bali

This month the NSW Government announced it is looking at a new major event for western Sydney. This is great news for our region, which overall, receives far less government funding for arts and culture than the rest of Sydney.

But that certainly isn’t because the people of western Sydney don’t like having fun.

In 2011 western Sydney residents spent $232 million on cultural activities.

That included things such as attending music concerts and festivals, visiting art galleries, going to the theatre, and learning about our history.

Western Sydney’s love of events is clear from the success of local festivals such as the Cabramatta Moon Festival which draws around 90,000 people each year.

That is a huge number when you consider Sydney’s Vivid festival, drew 100,000 people per day in 2017.

The popularity of the Moon Festival, and others such as Parramatta Lanes, Blacktown Medieval Fayre and Auburn Cherry Blossom Festival, show how much we love and support our home-grown events.

We already know how great western Sydney is.

With the backing of the NSW Government, we hope more people from other areas of Sydney, NSW and Australia, will come and experience what the west has to offer.

Such attractions as its wide range of artists and musicians; its natural landscapes; its unparalleled connection to world culture and cuisine; and, most importantly of all, its people.

The government has promised to work closely with local organisations, community groups and councils to develop their new western Sydney event – so get your ideas ready.

While we are excited by the prospect of a major state-supported event for western Sydney, we hope this announcement is just the first of many.

Western Sydney is about to overtake eastern Sydney in terms of population and the amount we spend on arts and cultural activities.

It only makes sense that we should have more of our own, homegrown events, museums, galleries, theatres and practice spaces.

That way everyone has the opportunity to participate and have fun in their own backyard.

Councillor Stephen Bali

president, WSROC