NSW Labor says: "Yes, but what about the musical Hamilton?"

In Parliament | 14.06.18

While NSW Labor has welcomed the three musical announcement including a re-run of Chicago and a new production of Saturday Night Fever, it said the real question in the entertainment industry is: “What is happening with the Australian premiere of Hamilton?”

NSW Shadow Arts Minister Walt Secord and NSW Shadow Tourism and Major Events Minister Penny Sharpe were responding to an announcement by Tourism and Major Events Minister Adam Marshall and Arts Minister Don Harwin that Sydney was hosting a re-run of Chicago, first staged in 2009 and a production of the popular film, Saturday Night Fever.

NSW Labor has continued its attacks on the Berejiklian Government and its arts minister Don Harwin saying they are continuing to lose major productions to Victoria and Queensland.

In recent months, Mr Secord and his colleagues have asked Mr Harwin – in State Parliament – about NSW losing its arts and entertainment mantle to Victoria and Queensland.

On April 20, Shadow Tourism and Major Events Minister Penny Sharpe asked:

My question without notice is directed to the Minister for the Arts in his capacity as Leader of the Government. Given that Australian producers have been negotiating with their American counterparts since early 2016 to bring the award-winning musical Hamilton to Sydney, what steps is the Minister taking to ensure that New South Wales does not lose the show to Melbourne?

It is believed that Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are competing for the rights to stage the Australian premiere of Hamilton, the story of the life of the US treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton.

Earlier this year, NSW lost the theatrical awards – the Helpmann Awards to Melbourne and last year, it lost the TV awards, the Logies to the Gold Coast.

Mr Secord said: “The musicals announced today are welcome, but they spark a single question: What is happening with Hamilton?  If this continues, NSW will lose its crown as the culture capital of Australia.”

NSW Labor said it was time that the Berejiklian Government “got aggressive” and started to chase down and hold these important events.

Ms Sharpe expressed his concern that the “third event” that Melbourne was trying to win over from NSW was the Australian premiere of the Tony-winning musical Hamilton.

“It is time we got aggressive and took back our rightful place as Australia’s global city. The Liberals and Nationals are allowing Sydney to slip from its mantle.  We are rapidly losing our crown as the entertainment capital of Australia.  Queensland and Victoria are supporting their arts and culture industries while NSW just takes our industry for granted.”