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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4328..


MR SPEAKER: No. I was listening very closely. He said, "Mrs Burke is in possession of documents"-or words to that effect-"that were illegally obtained."

Mrs Burke: Prove it, Mr Stanhope!

MR SPEAKER: I don't think he said that-

Mr Pratt: No. He does not have to prove anything.

MR SPEAKER: Do you want a ruling on this point of order or not-or do we just move on? If you want a ruling on it, it would be nice if you just simmered down a little bit. No, I do not think there was an imputation against Mrs Burke. It was not direct enough for me to form that conclusion.

Arts portfolio

MS MacDONALD: My question is to Mr Wood, on the last sitting day of his 15 years in this place, as minister for the arts-and, I would say, the person who has made the most contribution to that portfolio in this place. Minister, can you inform the Assembly of the progress in the area of the arts since self-government?

MR WOOD: I would be delighted to. Some members thought I might give a full resume in that earlier question, but I will pick out just one area for a little more detail. The very first thing I was involved in, which I instigated as chair of a committee in this Assembly, was the Select Committee on Cultural Activities and Facilities. That was the basis for a lot of later activity.

A little while later, when I was Minister for Arts and Heritage, there was the new heritage legislation and the formation of the Heritage Council to replace a lower level of committee. There was the very significant appointment of the Cultural Council, replacing the former Arts Development Board, to expand the focus from arts grants to arts and cultural development.

The ANCA studios in Dickson were completed. We released a new strategy, 'Sharing the vision'. That came through work with the Cultural Council. We expanded the role of community festivals-something I have done again on becoming minister once more. We greatly enhanced ACT literary awards, and we began funding Canberra Arts Marketing. We also supported the creation of the National Festival of Australian Theatre, although that died some years later.

Significantly, one of the greatest battles I had was to capture the casino premium, in the face of persistent efforts from the rest of the place to keep it away from the arts. But we did capture that. That enabled work on the Street Theatre, the Tuggeranong Arts Centre and the Canberra Museum and Gallery. They were nicely completed by my successors for a time-although without that casino premium I do not know if they would have happened.

From November 2001, we restored funding of $800,000 to the ANU Institute of the Arts, the other half of the money that was taken from them. We provided consistent and


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