Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has welcomed the Victorian Coalition Government’s announcement that it will inject $6.5 million over the next three years into Victorian libraries in order to fix the black hole in library funding created by the former Labor government.
"East Gippsland Shire and other interest groups had contacted me expressing their concerns that existing library services would be affected by these cuts had they gone ahead, and this announcement will ensure that no library misses out.
“The government has listened to the views of the Municipal Association of Victoria and will work together to address funding issues and the establishment of a bi-partisan Libraries Ministerial Advisory Committee to ensure the government can deliver a modern, vibrant and effective library service into the future,” Mr Bull said.
The announcement also confirmed:
An injection of $6.2 million over 2012-13 and 2013-14 to address Labor's cuts to library funding;
Restoration of funding for 2011-12 through an upfront full-year single payment and over $200,000 in top-up payments this year to ensure no library receives any less money than they did last year;
Re-establishment of the Libraries Ministerial Advisory Committee (Libraries MAC) – for the first time as a bipartisan committee, including a representative from the opposition; and
Funding of up to $100,000 for a comprehensive review of the role, services and funding for libraries in Victoria to be undertaken by the Libraries MAC.
“This action will ensure library funding levels are sustained whilst a landmark review into the future of Victoria library services and funding arrangements is undertaken.
“I am pleased that council and libraries can now plan for an exciting future with their local communities without the threat of budget cuts holding them back, providing them with a clear plan for the future,” Mr Bull said.