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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1114 ..

good example of what has happened to all of our arts venues and all of our artists over the past year. First, they had to deal with bushfires. Those threatened the staff, volunteers and visitors at some really remote locations. It required a lot of thought about evacuation and care about risk. Those fires also threatened some irreplaceable historical artefacts, and the Cultural Facilities Corporation had to come up with a plan for that too.

After that came the smoke, and that shut down a lot of the facilities. It drove away the audiences and, once again, it threatened to damage those precious artworks. Once the corporation dealt with that, there came the constant program and venue changes arising from COVID. I have heard that they got really good at cancelling and reissuing tickets! They are experts at it now. All of this they adapted to, just like the rest of our arts sector had to adapt.

One of the lesser-known roles is in making jobs for our practising artists. A lot of artists cross-subsidise their incomes by working front-of-house at shows or working in galleries. I am quite worried about jobs and income for artists at the moment, as everybody here knows, and I am keeping a close eye on their jobs and income. I am really glad to see that the Canberra Theatre and CMAG are back to good capacity and making those jobs again. It is a boon to our art sector and our audiences; but it is also a boon to our practising artists who are working there. I hope we get to return to full capacity for every single venue really soon.

So, get out and visit the places you love. We lost them for a while and now we know how much we like them. It is a real way for us all to heal and process everything that happened. Congratulations to the Cultural Facilities Corporation for coping so well.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (4.42): Through this budget the government is recognising the importance of arts, culture and heritage in our community, including through making a major investment to support the work of the Cultural Facilities Corporation.

As Ms Clay noted, the CFC manages a range of major cultural assets: the Canberra Theatre Centre, the Canberra Museum and Gallery and three historical places—Lanyon Homestead, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga Cottage. The government is providing $1 million in additional financial support for the corporation in this budget, the purpose of which is to assist it in addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on the corporation’s theatre venues, which have led to a major drop in theatre income due to having to cancel or reschedule shows. The $1 million provided through this budget is in addition to an extra funding of $2.5 million provided to the corporation as part of the 2020 August Economic and Fiscal Update. Together, these allocations of additional funding are supporting the corporation as it rebuilds its theatre operations. They form an important part of the ACT’s creative recovery from the pandemic.

We are very pleased that entertainment venues, including the Canberra Theatre Centre, have recently returned to 100 per cent capacity of audiences. As I mentioned here yesterday, that has resulted in another 34,000 tickets that the Canberra Theatre Centre

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