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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 16 August 2018) . . Page.. 3115 ..


government to bear. This ACT Greens-Labor coalition government defunded this program with little explanation and little apprehension of the impact that it would have.

The people running the music education program were under the misapprehension that the funding contract was to be renewed. But it turns out that, despite advice they received from artsACT, there was no intention of renewing this contract. To rub salt into the wound, just a week before Christmas last year the music engagement program was told that although they were successful they would no longer be funded: $400,000 of funding withdrawn without any notice.

This is a government that says it cares. This is a government that says it is for the people. This is a government that says it is for social conscience. The act of defunding the music engagement program shows that this is an uncaring government; it is the act of a government incapable of looking at the benefits of the program and the broader social impacts of the program. It is a government that is totally unconscious of the impacts that decisions like this will have on the community. It is a government that cannot look into the future. It is a government that is ignorant of tried, tested, true and successful outcomes. And the government should be condemned for its failure in this regard.

No longer will our young students have access to a program that gives them skills in the arts as well as self-esteem, confidence and an eye for the future. No longer will people in the broader community, particularly our older people in aged care facilities, enjoy the musical innocence of primary school aged children. No longer will those residents be able to share their stories with these young people. No longer will music, the great leveller, bring these young and old communities together in such a safe, joyful, sharing and confidence-building environment. And this is because this government and this minister no longer care.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (4.52): I am speaking on this item as it relates to sport and recreation. The government has made an unprecedented commitment to the support and participation of women in sport as athletes, coaches, administrators and leaders. An array of initiatives supporting this commitment are either complete or already underway. This includes specific women’s grants, our her Canberra active portal, improved gender equity on local sporting boards and a commitment to ensure female-friendly sporting environments.

The government’s 2016 election commitments included $400,000 over four years to support participation and leadership of women in sport, a $500,000 commitment across four years to support female-friendly infrastructure, a women’s active portal $100,000 over four years, and improved support for our elite Canberra Capitals and Canberra United. The women’s sport and recreation participation and leadership program, as part of the broader sport and recreation grants program, was implemented for 2018 providing $49,000 to eight separate initiatives while also supporting the establishment of a multi-sport women in sport program, which will commence and


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