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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 3005..


Motion (by Mr Quinlan ) proposed:

That the house do now adjourn.

Music awards

MS DUNDAS (1.08): At the end of May, I had the pleasure of meeting some ACT songwriters and hearing their great music. Three ACT musicians were top 10 short-listed in the 24th Australian National Songwriting Contest. There were over 2,000 entrants from across Australia in 14 categories. It was indeed great to see ACT songwriters doing so well in that national competition.

Mike Backhouse was awarded 10th place in the "coffee house" category for his song In the pale moonlight. The "coffee house" category is for acoustic and folk material suitable for smaller venues, including unplayed compositions. Mike has been writing songs for four years and draws inspiration from a diverse range of artists. He is a regular performer at the Australian Songwriters Association music nights here in Canberra.

Neil Young was awarded 4th place in the "spirit of Australia" category for his song Balibo boys-a song in remembrance of the five journalists killed in the town of Balibo, East Timor, in 1975. I have had the pleasure of meeting Neil. He has heard all the jokes possible about a songwriter with the name of Neil Young. He is a lifetime singer-songwriter and performs original music regularly, both solo and as part of a Canberra four-piece rock band called Rain.

Then it was Linda Tinney who scored 6th place in the "spirit of Australia" category for her song Eternity. The song celebrates the life of Arthur Stace, who became a legend for writing "eternity" across the streets of Sydney. Linda writes songs, plays the piano and appears regularly at Canberra venues as part of her song and blues trio called ZIP.

As well as recognising those three performers for their great music and their national achievements, I would also like to thank the volunteers who make the Australian Songwriters Association work here in the ACT. That includes regular monthly "open mike" nights, both down south and in the north of Canberra, where artists are invited to perform their original work.

Congratulations to Jason Linney, the current ACT coordinator of the ASA, and Ben Cusack, who is the media and public relations officer and the only ACT entrant to be placed in the top 10 at the 23rd National Songwriting Competition. I would also like to offer thanks for the work of the national president, Kieran Roberts. We have some brilliant talent here in the ACT and it is great that it is being nationally recognised. I hope that the ACT government will move to support live music in the ACT so that we continue to support the talent we have.

The Assembly adjourned at 1.11 am (Wednesday).

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