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MR HUMPHRIES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Government did feel, however, that the Eisteddfod Society had been rather abruptly cut off from government funding. I have, only in the last couple of days, signed a determination allocating $5,000 to the Eisteddfod Society for 1995 for them to develop a business plan to more securely approach the task of running future eisteddfods in the ACT. That, in a sense, was an acknowledgment of their need to be given time to adjust to those new realities. Also, Mr Speaker, it was an acknowledgment of the fact that they do not, at this stage, require as much money as they did only four or five months ago. Members might be aware that the Eisteddfod Society has raised very considerable sums of money in the last few months, through very hard work on the part of officers.
Mr Wood: Would there be a message in that, by any chance?
MR HUMPHRIES: And Mr Wood suggests a message in that. I think the Eisteddfod Society has received that message, and that is why the Government has decided not to fund them to the full extent of the shortfall that they were facing because of the abrupt decision by the government of the day to withdraw funding.
Mr Connolly: We were wrong in not funding them, but you are right in not funding them?
MR HUMPHRIES: No, I do not believe that the previous Government was right, Mr Speaker. I believe that the previous Government was most unreasonable in saying, “Sorry; that is it. You are cut off”.
Mr Berry: So, they are still not funded, though?
MR HUMPHRIES: No; they are funded to the tune of $5,000, and that will be a process which, I think, will see the Eisteddfod Society create a stronger basis for activity in the future. It may be that, for 1996, the Eisteddfod Society bids for and wins funding from the Cultural Council pot. They are entitled to bid for it, and I believe that, if they have built a sound business plan, they might be able to demonstrate that they deserve that money on the basis of their own contribution to that process. Mr Speaker, I have to say that I stand by my reservations about the previous Government's handling of the Eisteddfod Society. There were certainly many Canberrans who were deeply unhappy about the way in which the Eisteddfod Society was handled.
Revised Administrative Arrangements
MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mrs Carnell in her capacity as the Chief Minister. Mrs Carnell, I refer to your statement in the Assembly yesterday on revised Administrative Arrangements. You clarified your intentions in the following words:
The next step in the process of continuing the rationalisation of the ACT administration will commence on 1 July 1995 with the establishment of four portfolio groupings - grouping like functions within policy envelopes.