Sydney's cultural institutions are bracing themselves for the introduction of the GST, fearing patrons will desert leisure activities as prices rise.
Conversely, the director of Access Contemporary Art Gallery, Brenda May, said GST uncertainty had caused a downturn in sales over the past two months.
"I think that people have pre-GST jitters," she said. "A lot of people are unsure of the full implications. People are really being a bit careful."
So the gallery for emerging artists had put on a pre-GST sale, reducing prices by 10 per cent as "a bit of a joke, really", she said." And it had a more serious purpose too: "We are hoping it will bring in a little bit extra money to tide the artists over."