In a sad announcement, the Brisbane Times have confirmed this afternoon that Campbell Newman has scrapped the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in an attempt to ‘control government spending.’
A spokesperson for the government said in the report: ‘[T]he Queensland government has decided not to proceed with the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in 2012 which will save Queensland taxpayers $244,475, not including the cost of resourcing the awards.’
‘The government would like to acknowledge all the sponsors, judges, stakeholders, entrants and winners for their valued contribution to the program to date.’
The Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards have been running since 1999 and are one of the leading literary awards programs in Australia with a total of $230,000 in prize money offered across fourteen categories, which include unpublished manuscripts, non-fiction, poetry, short stories, unpublished indigenous writers and fiction, among others. Previous winners have included Helen Garner, Alexis Wright, J.M. Coetzee, Tim Winton, Thea Astley, Nam Le, Larissa Behrendt, David Malouf, Judith Beveridge, Peter Carey, Les Murray to name just a few.
The official government site for the Award is currently still encouraging people to sign up to its e-newsletter, rather ironically titled ‘a state of celebration’. Well, not for long.