Creative Regions fund hangs in limbo ahead of state budget in May

The Nationals WA have called on the state government to reveal any plans to cut regional arts and culture funding ahead of the May 9 budget.

Nationals WA arts spokesperson Colin Holt said the government had "gone quiet" on regional arts funding, including the future of the Creative Regions program.

"The $24 million program was one of the biggest investments in regional culture and arts made by a government in Australia," Mr Holt said.

"But sadly this program, along with others including the WA Regional Film Fund and the Performing Arts Regional Tour Boost, have had no money allocated beyond June 30 this year.

"The regional arts sector is effectively in limbo, awaiting its fate on budget day."

Mr Holt said the government must end the uncertainty immediately.

"It is a sad state of affairs because we know the positive, community-building impact a healthy arts sector has on regional towns," he said.

Creative Regions has funded upgrades for performing arts venues, business and professional development, improved the capacity of local arts groups, increased the number of touring performances and assisted Aboriginal art centres.

The program has also helped to deliver events such as CinefestOZ.

Mr Holt said it was these types of events that were at the forefront of his mind when he helped launch the Creative Regions Fund back in 2015.

"It was tailored to address the cultural and arts gaps across regional WA," he said.

WA Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman said funding for the program would be considered as part of the budget process.

"It would be pre-emptive to comment ahead of the Budget," Minister Templeman said.

"CinefestOz has been supported through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program and through ScreenWest, WA's screen funding and development agency.

"Funding for CinefestOZ through the Regional Events Program continues until the end of the 2019-20 period."

Nationals leader Mia Davies said the state's 'abandonment' of regional arts reflected a wider pattern across of cutting regional funding and programs.

"In last year's Budget the McGowan Government revealed that by 2021 it would syphon off half of Royalties for Regions to fund regional water and sewage subsidies, school buses and other core government services which were never intended to be funded by Royalties for Regions," Ms Davies said.