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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 502 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Deputy Speaker, finally, this Government acknowledges the importance of fostering excellence in the arts through support for development and innovation. This will continue to be supported through the arts development funding program. I welcome Mr Wood's initiative in bringing forward this MPI today. Sometimes many people forget just how central the arts are to any community, particularly to any community that is growing, that is evolving and that is becoming more mature. I think sometimes, too, people forget the huge financial benefits that can flow from the arts in a city, particularly a national capital. The opportunities that exist for packaging weekend events as tourist attractions for people coming in from Sydney and other places, I believe, have not even started to be tapped. People could spend weekends or even longer in the national capital and see visual arts and theatre, and possibly visit a winery. They could experience really great arts, from performing arts through to visual arts. That is a market that I believe we need to do a lot of work on, but it is one that will benefit the arts community, the ACT Government and the community quite dramatically.

Mr Deputy Speaker, we have spent an enormous amount of money on arts facilities over the last few years. It is now up to us, up to this Assembly, to ensure that that money has been well spent and to ensure that those facilities are appropriately used. One of the things that it is very easy for governments to do is to build buildings. Sometimes things tend to fall over in regard to making sure that those buildings make a return to the city that built them. That will be a challenge for us over the next few years. I am sure that all of us who were at the Playhouse opening, and the Museum and Gallery opening fairly recently, would agree that our facilities are second to none. They are unique; they are special. They are wonderful facilities and they must be properly managed.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, we are to have four speakers in 30 minutes. If we keep it to seven minutes each we can get four speakers in.

MR HARGREAVES (4.03): Mr Deputy Speaker, this will not take very long at all. I would like to express my gratitude to the Chief Minister for that expose on what we are doing for the arts. It is very encouraging indeed. I would like to direct attention from the Territorial level to the local level. Often society does not acknowledge the value of arts as an expression of community growth, community development and community maturity and as a vehicle for the expression of history and the history of a community. It is all very well, Mr Deputy Speaker, to recognise the revitalisation of Civic, and I am happy to encourage that; but Civic is not the only mature part of the ACT. There are satellite cities which are maturing at a great rate. Belconnen is doing very well. There is Weston, and, of course, Tuggeranong, the heart of my own electorate.

Mr Corbell: Woden.

MR HARGREAVES: And Woden. Thank you very much, Mr Corbell. Mr Deputy Speaker, we acknowledge the provision of the Tuggeranong Community Arts Centre. We need also to understand, though, as the Chief Minister just said, that building buildings is very easy. Just whack it into the capital works program and there it is. We need to make sure, however, that these facilities have ongoing support for maintenance and future expansion, and sometimes I wonder whether that support is sufficient.

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