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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 3034..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

that one would divest oneself of a business, you can provide long-term strategic direction to that business, which in a reasonably short period you no longer intend or expect to own.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, what confidence can ACT public servants have in their capacity to offer the government frank and fearless advice when you attack an independent watchdog as you did yesterday in this place? Will you now apologise to the Auditor-General?

MR STANHOPE: I am sure that you and everybody else in this place knows that, in the event or eventuality that I ever said anything inappropriate or untoward, I would be the first to apologise. I am more than happy to review the Hansard and give consideration to whether I could possibly have said anything inappropriate or untoward. But I cannot imagine that I would or that I did.

Arts—ScreenACT

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for the Arts. In light of your recent statements indicating the government's intention to outsource the running of ScreenACT to the private sector, can you advise the Assembly how overall film-related funding through artsACT has been determined and awarded?

MR STANHOPE: As members would be aware, ScreenACT was an initiative first developed through the economic white paper. Two years ago, it received funding for a period of four years. That funding will continue for two years.

ScreenACT is also a collaborative arrangement between the ACT and New South Wales governments. It is a ratio of two or three to one in the context of resources to ScreenACT from the ACT and New South Wales governments. We have been providing resources of somewhere in the order of $250,000 to $300,000 a year to ScreenACT. The New South Wales government has been providing, as I indicated, at a proportionate rate of around one-third of that.

As the shadow Treasurer has indicated, the government has, through the last budget and in statements I have made at Focus on Business last week, indicated that the government proposes to pursue an alternative direction. At this stage, it is the government's intention to seek expressions of interest and seek from the private sector proposals for the future conduct of industry support for the film industry in the ACT and region.

We believe, in the context of decisions taken in the budget on the shape and the future of the ACT government's administration, including BusinessACT, that we can effectively partner with the private sector and the broad industry involved in film to better deliver the range of support which has been delivered to ScreenACT in the last two years. There is significant interest.

I have had meetings most specifically with the business council and with individual members of the film industry within the territory. There is a high level of support and interest in the model which the government is proposing. It is my intention to formally seek expressions of interest and feedback some time within the next couple of weeks.


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