Northern Beaches Council spends on art during a crisis

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance today reprimanded the Northern Beaches City Council for appropriating up to $1.7 million on public artwork to commemorate COVID-19.

“Many businesses remain closed, some never to reopen. Over half a million Australians have lost their jobs. Over 3.5 million people are depending on JobKeeper, 1.3 million on JobSeeker. Putting up expensive artwork should be Australia’s last priority.”

“We don’t need a statue to remember COVID-19; we have a large debt that will dog us for decades to come,” said ATA Policy Director Emilie Dye. “Good leadership requires adding to that debt only when it puts food on bare tables.”

“Some restrictions have eased and shop owners are slowly flipping their storefront signs back to open, but we still have many hard months and even years ahead of us. The virus remains a threat, and the economy needs time to recover. Commemoration comes after a crisis, not in the heat of it.”

“If artists wish to create and sell COVID-19 related artwork, that is their prerogative. If wealthy individuals want to spend money on that art, they can. Taxpayers, however, do not have the means to spend on luxury memorials while they still struggle to get through this global upheaval.”

/Public Release. View in full here.