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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3265..

MR MULCAHY (continuing):

of other larger cities. Canberra has also provided artists with unique access to major national cultural institutions and a highly educated arts audience. The attitude seemingly of favouring major Australian cities, particularly Sydney, of national organisations such as the Australia Council and the Australian Ballet Company is something that our local institutions are coming up against more often.

I recall the recent snubbing of the Canberra Theatre and the patronising comments about our wonderful symphony orchestra by a spokesman for the Australian Ballet Company. This is another prime example, and it is a trend that we should do our best to reverse and we should approach it on a tripartisan basis to the best extent we can. The decision by the Australia Council is a decision that in no way reflects the excellent work that the centre provides and undertakes in Canberra, and I certainly fully support them in their efforts to secure alternative sources of financial support.

I have made direct representations to Senator Kemp, the federal minister responsible. I am very disappointed that he has not come through on this particular matter. I am growing increasingly tired of the elitist Sydney-centric attitude that prevails in some areas of the arts. We have a vibrant and effective cultural array in this town that I quite confidently say, having lived in other parts of the world, would be unrivalled for a city of 300,000 people. It behoves the federal government to send a very clear message to the Australia Council that there is a world outside of Sydney and Melbourne, that this is our nation's capital. I think it is up to either Senator Kemp or the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, to start looking at the ACT in terms of the arts and not allow decisions like this to stand unquestioned. I am finding it becoming a repetitive concern of the attitude towards the needs of the territory on artistic matters, and I am certainly saying here publicly that I will be batting for the interests of the local arts community against these sorts of elements (Time expired.).

Remarks by Mr Smyth

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (6.00): Earlier today, in the debate on my motion, Mr Smyth suggested that I should scurry off to find the answers to his questions which, you may or may not have noticed, I took exception to. Later I mistakenly accused him of saying that I should scuttle off. There then ensued a discussion with him about the meaning of scuttle. Mr Smyth suggested it is something you do to a ship. It is indeed something that you do to a ship. You may scuttle a ship to sink it, but that is only one of three definitions, Mr Smyth. One of the others is to run "with quick, hasty steps; hurry;"and to move "at a quick pace". To scurry, Mr Smyth, means to go or move quickly or in haste, such as in a scurrying rush. The Pocket Macquarie Dictionary gives an example: "We heard the scurrying of little feet down the stairs."

Some might think it is a little sad that I take exception to this, but I have to say that, when I hear the words "scurry"or "scuttle"when talking about going off, I think of mice. I am not a mouse. I am not a rodent of any description. I am a human being. I move at a leisurely pace, with great decorum. I do not scuttle and I do not scurry. I still take exception to the suggestion that that is what I should do. Mr Smyth may choose to scuttle or scurry or move at a leisurely and decorous pace if he so chooses, but I will continue to move at a leisurely and decorous pace.

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