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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 3035..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

As to the specific question about details of funding, I will need to take that part of the question on notice. I will report back to the Assembly.

MR MULCAHY: Can the minister assure the Assembly that overall film-related funding through artsACT has not been simply bestowed on a small group of professional production houses at the expense and discouragement of genuinely independent and aspiring young filmmakers?

MR STANHOPE: Once again, I will take the specific part of the question on notice. I am happy to provide the Deputy Leader of the Opposition with information on grants and the details of those grants provided by artsACT to filmmakers and the film industry generally. Certainly, all of artsACT's and all of the ACT government's processes on the making of grants are rigorous and transparent. There are high levels of independence on decisions on the dispensations of grants and the recipients of grants.

I certainly do not accept that there has been any favouritism, bias or lack of transparency or objectivity in the decision making on grants made by artsACT to the film industry. I have absolutely no doubt that the processes utilised by artsACT and the independent advice which it takes on all grants has been rigorously pursued in relation to grants to members of the film community, as with all grants. I am more than happy to provide details of those grants and the recipients.

I am sure, upon receipt of that, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition will be more than satisfied at the merit of each of those applicants and the recipients. To suggest that any of the recipients of artsACT funding were less than meritorious or were not worthy of receipt is something that we would all reject. I am sure that, upon receipt of the details of those recipients, Mr Mulcahy will be the first to accept that.

Democratic rights of ACT residents

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, given your responsibility for relations between the Australian Capital Territory and the commonwealth, are you aware of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment (Disallowance Power of the Commonwealth) Bill 2006, introduced into the commonwealth parliament by Senator Bob Brown? What is the significance of Senator Brown's bill?

MR STANHOPE: I think that it was a very significant attempt by the Greens, supported by the Labor Party in the Senate to ensure that the people of the ACT achieved to the greatest extent that the constitution permits their democratic rights and equality with other Australians. I think that this is a very fundamental issue.

Mr Pratt: Is this your bid for preselection for the hill, Jon?

MR STANHOPE: It is fundamental, of course, to the strength of any democracy that people have the capacity to elect their representatives to make laws and to accept that those laws that are made by their elected representatives will, until changed by the democratic process, represent the will and the desire of the people of that place. That is a


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