Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 September 2011) . . Page.. 4246 ..
through the development of the arts hubs. An enhancement of existing arts precincts in the ACT will help to provide important services to the ACT community such as in the field of music education.
Last weekend Ainslie Arts Centre hosted its annual bloom festival, allowing the greater Canberra community a wonderful opportunity to visit the facility and to hear an array of wonderful music. It is precisely these kinds of exciting festivals and synergies between musicians that we will encourage through the further investment in arts hubs across Canberra.
Recently I announced a roundtable process for youth music pathways. This will provide opportunities for key stakeholders in the music sector to consider pathways for youth music education in the ACT and they will be facilitated by Dr Richard Letts, founder and Executive Director of the Music Council of Australia. After these roundtables, we will produce a forward plan for youth music pathways based on the comments received. The development of the new arts hubs will provide an opportunity for co-location of arts practices and opportunities for organisational sector strengthening from mentoring and collaboration.
The Kingston foreshore has been identified as a major visual arts precinct since the arts facilities strategy in 2003, and of course the Canberra Glassworks opening in 2007 has really set that as a destination opportunity for arts for Canberra.
Much has been said in recent times about spending on the arts, and I am pleased but somewhat confused by the comments by Canberra Liberals about spending on the arts given the most recent media release that ACT Labor spends $268.41 per Canberran annually on arts funding. The ACT opposition leader said this was a further reason for Canberrans to question the priority of this government. What I heard from Mrs Dunne before was some rhetoric about looking back to the 2008 policies. You have to look back to 2008 to actually find any policies. She was articulating an additional spend on arts. So I am not quite sure if they are now saying we do not spend enough on arts or that we spend too much on arts. So I would hope that at some point we will get that clarification from the Canberra Liberals. It would be enlightening to know exactly where they stand on arts, given that I do see a number of them at various functions around the place and it has puzzled me since the media release from the Canberra Liberals. That seems to indicate that we spend far too much on arts practice, arts celebration and arts participation here in the ACT, yet we do see them at each and every opportunity.
The ACT Labor government recognises that the arts underpin our society, encourage celebration and enhance our sense of belonging and enjoyment of life here in the ACT. So again I want to thank Dr Bourke for bringing this motion to the Assembly today.
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (7.36): I thank members for their support of my motion. I am glad that the support for the arts here mirrors the support for the arts in the Canberra community. According to the ABS, 90 per cent of Canberra residents over 15 visit an arts venue or event. In fact, more than 80 per cent of them attend more than once. Canberra leads Australia in the appreciation of the arts. Therefore I was very pleased to hear Mrs Dunne’s comments committing the Canberra Liberals to support public art and indeed calling for greater spending on the arts. Thank you, members.