Labor’s investment in local libraries


NSW Labor believes that libraries are at the heart of our communities. They help promote lifelong learning; provide free access to information, and are ‘hubs’ for people to meet and engage.

Labor has had a long association with libraries in NSW. In 1943, as World War II raged, Labor Premier Bill McKell proclaimed the financial provisions at the opening of the new Public Library of New South Wales building to set up our State’s great library system.

Seventy-five years later, there are now 368 public libraries in NSW and 20 mobile libraries which provide library services for isolated and remote communities dotted across the State.

Building on that fine tradition, last month, NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley announced that a State Labor Government will double State funding for our public libraries if elected in March 2019.

This is because under the NSW Liberals and Nationals, there has been no real increase in ongoing funding for public libraries and these vital institutions have been neglected. It has remained at $1.85 per capita since 2011.

In its first term, NSW Labor will double this to $3.70 per capita.

NSW Labor will ensure that this new per capita subsidy of $3.70 maintains its real value into the future by linking it to the Consumer Price Index.

In addition, Labor will create a $25 million Public Library Infrastructure Fund for public libraries to upgrade their facilities or purchase new equipment.

Peter Primrose MLC
Shadow Minister for Local Government

Walt Secord MLC
Shadow Minister for the Arts