Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 December 2011) . . Page.. 5667 ..
Communication and promotion of the fund are undertaken through a variety of channels for approximately four weeks. This allows adequate time for the applicants to contact events staff and arrange meetings to discuss the festival fund process and criteria prior to making a submission. Advertisements are placed in the Canberra Times, CityNews, Canberra Weekly, Chronicle, Community Noticeboard and through whole-of-government messages to direct applicants to the www.events.act.gov.au website. Here the booklet and relevant application forms can be downloaded. Information on the website also provides a contact phone number and email address to which applicants may phone or email for inquiries about the fund. Canberra Connect are briefed with information and advice and inquiries regarding the fund may be forwarded to the events unit. Alternative formats are also available by phoning the ACT festival fund officer on 62052579.
The fund is open for approximately four weeks. An independent panel assesses applications. Panel members have extensive experience in festivals and events and have a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the sector. Recommendations made by the panel as a result of the assessment process are provided in an information brief to the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation. In 2011 this brief was provided on 12 September.
The third part of the Assembly resolution was that we actively engage with the Weston Creek Community Council and other unsuccessful applicants and advise of any additional information required to support their funding request for the second round of funding. All applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with the festival fund officer prior to submitting applications to the fund. This allows for a full discussion of the purpose, criteria, process and administration of the fund, ensuring the requirements of applicants are fully understood.
Unsuccessful applicants from round 1 were sent a letter of information on Wednesday, 16 November informing them of the opening of round 2, along with the round 2 information booklet and relevant application forms. The round 2 booklet again articulates the selection criteria and states:
… it is strongly recommended that, before applying for assistance, you make every effort to discuss your project and application with the relevant staff. Appointments can be arranged by contacting the ACT Festival Fund Officer on (02) 6205 2579 or via email@example.com
The fourth part of the Assembly motion was that the government review the decision to not provide funding to the Weston Creek Community Council for the purpose of supporting the community festival with a view to providing adequate funding that would allow the festival to occur. The methodology of ranking applicants against the provided criteria, along with the requirement of applicants to robustly substantiate their claims, is consistent with grants programs across the ACT government.
The Weston Creek Community Council applied for a grant of $20,000. The ACT festival fund booklet clearly states that where applicants are requesting amounts over $20,000, the application will need to extensively meet the assessment criteria.