June 21, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

In the lead-up to the launch of the state budget tomorrow, the NSW Government has announced a $200 million State Significant Event Fund, to be delivered over four years.

Judging from the initial announcement, the Fund leans towards major rather than business events.

“Getting more visitors to Sydney and regional NSW, giving them high quality experiences and offering a smorgasbord of events to include in their itinerary will propel us toward our goal of being the premier visitor economy and events capital of the Asia Pacific by 2030,” said NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres.

“This is about letting the world know that we are open, our State is thriving, and there is nowhere better to visit right now.

“We know visitors are looking for unforgettable experiences so we want to secure blockbuster international concerts for Sydney and regional NSW venues, exhibitions direct form the world’s top galleries, high profile international sporting code events and events celebrating fashion and design, popular culture, and creativity and innovation.”

As part of Saturday’s announcement, Ayres and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet also revealed that the Cahill Expressway, which runs along Circular Quay, will be activated as an event site for a week for New Year’s Eve 2021 and into January 2022.

The Expressway will be closed to traffic and instead feature markets, performances and big screens during the day, giving way to headline acts and pop-up food and bar experiences in the evenings.

Perrottet said that the Cahill Expressway activation and the event fund were designed to help rebuild Sydney’s visitor and 24-hour economies.

“As we push through the pandemic, we are working to make sure Sydney and NSW continue to shine, businesses stay in business, and people return to our amazing Harbour City to support the rebounding economy,” Perrottet said.

“An innovative activation on the Cahill Expressway is one of the recommendations from businesses that we heard during the CBD Summits, and it will attract people into the city, during the key summer trading period.”