The Baillieu Government will continue funding Melbourne queer arts and cultural festival Midsumma.

Tourism Minister Louise Asher announced the Government had allocated $16,000 funding last night following calls from Prahran MP Clem Newton-Brown for support.

“I am delighted to advise … that the Coalition Government, through Tourism Victoria’s events program, has allocated $16,000 to the festival to help market the event,” Asher told Parliament.

“One of the very important things about this festival … is its capacity to bring in tourists.

“Tourism Victoria advises me that international visitation increased by 6.4 percent [in 2011] compared with the figures from 2010.”

The funding from Tourism Victoria will go towards marketing Midsumma to interstate and international visitors and to help distribute around 40,000 promotional posters across Australia and New Zealand.

Newton-Brown said the LGBTI cultural event is one of the most prominent community arts and cultural events in Australia.

“This year’s festival set an attendance record with an estimated 100,000 people attending the opening carnival, which demonstrates the enormous community support behind the event,” Newton-Brown said.

“The longstanding Midsumma event, in its 24th year in 2012, is only rivalled by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.”

NOTE: The original story said the funding was ‘extra’. Midsumma chair Lisa Watts confirmed today (14/11) the funding announcement matches that given to Midsumma by Tourism Victoria in past years.

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