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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . .

Page.. 3442..

directly, and now they are choosing to condemn me for having a panel of local artists and experts view and determine what applications meet the criteria, and make recommendations to me.

With respect to the arts fund panel that approved this grant, I will read out the names of panel members: Professor David Williams, Mr Fiete Geier, Francis Owusu, Bernie Slater, Karen Vickery and Jen Webb. All are local, well-known artists. Indeed this panel was chaired by Professor David Williams, who is currently Emeritus Professor in the ANU Research School of Humanities and the Arts. So Mr Smyth appears to know more than Professor David Williams.

Just on David Williams, his previous appointments were: director of the ANU School of Art, director of the Crafts Board of the Australia Council, a lecturer at Melbourne State College, craft consultant to the Australia Council, arts adviser to the Victorian arts branch, and a secondary and primary teacher. Other positions held were: chair of the ACT Arts Development Board, the ACT Cultural Council, Australian National Capital Artists—ANCA—member of the Australia Council VACB international committee, Asialink visual arts, and the list goes on.

While Mr Smyth chooses to have a cheap shot at me, also, by default, he is having a very cheap shot at this very highly regarded panel. We know that Mr Smyth had to be prompted and prodded by Andrew Bolt, the great campaigner for free speech, before he even opened his eyes and was attuned to this grant, even though it was put out in public some time before. Mr Smyth, I look forward to your intellectual engagement in the motion that you have on the paper later today.

Madam Speaker, we do live in a great city, and this is a government that will ensure that it continues to be great. Canberra is a livable city. As a community, we work hard to create a positive environment for all of our citizens, including people with a disability, their families and carers.

Canberra is now a trial site for the national disability insurance scheme, and will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to accept all eligible people into the NDIS. The NDIS is about giving people better access to funding so that they can get the support they need to live a good life. When the ACT government signed on to the NDIS in July 2012, it did so to provide certainty to all those living with a disability, and to those that care for them.

The NDIS means we will see unprecedented levels of investment in our disability sector—up to around $340 million each year by 2019-20. This will offer people with a disability more choice and control over the kinds of supports they get and who provides them.

When we look at how women are supported in Canberra as the most livable city, the ACT continues to demonstrate to the world how, with informed policy, we can take action on issues concerning women and girls in the ACT. It was pleasing to see the ACT report such outstanding world ranking results on measures such as safety and education. ACT women generally do well in areas such as education, work participation and earning levels, performing better than the national average. These positive results are important measures in the pursuit of gender equality.

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