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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 507 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to briefly mention on behalf of the Chief Minister the membership of the three advisory committees which have now been established to assist the Cultural Facilities Corporation conduct its work. There are three committees. The first is the Performing Arts Advisory Committee. It is to be led by Jenny Deves, who is the executive director of Craft ACT and has extensive experience in the performing arts, including the Nimrod Theatre. Other members are Peter Wilkins, Jenny Kingma, Jenny Battenally, Eulea Kiraly, Jim Cotter and Des Jordan.

The Museum and Gallery Advisory Committee is to be chaired by Mr Len Goodman, who was a member of the former steering committee for the Museum and Gallery and who has also been active in a large number of community organisations. Members of that committee are Louise Douglas, Wendy Teakel, Rob Russell, Susie Beaver, Roberta McRae and Berenice Hetherington. Obviously, that committee has a primary responsibility to make sure that that building across the way is meeting the objectives that the community has funded it for.

The Historic Places Advisory Committee, which will embrace bodies such as Lanyon and Calthorpes House and other important cultural and historic facilities of the ACT, will be chaired by Charles Campbell, formerly the chair of the Lanyon Advisory Panel and a council member of the Australiana Fund. Members of that committee are Professor Colin Pearson, Dr James Broadbent, Professor Ken Taylor, Jim Constance and Helen Geier.

Some of those committees have already met for the first time, and others will be meeting very shortly. I believe that they will constitute a valuable way of the Cultural Facilities Corporation linking in with the rest of the community. In particular, members will recall the debate about the Cultural Facilities Corporation and its Bill, and the need to make sure that those committees were broadly based to involve the corporation in all of those activities at the one time.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Berry, I understand that you are sharing the last eight minutes with Mr Smyth.

MR BERRY (4.22): Okay. I will not be long. My contribution will be brief. I do not pretend to have the expertise or experience in the arts of my colleague Mr Wood or Mr Humphries, as I have never been involved in an arts portfolio yet; but I will be around for a while and you never know. An interest which I have developed, particularly over my time in this Assembly, is the contribution that the arts make to the development of our society. I want to talk about funding for the arts and how arts need to be independent of their benefactors.

The difficulty for the development of the arts is always about finding sufficient funds to develop new and exciting forms of art for exposure out there in the community. Art has been a very important vehicle for the delivery of all sorts of messages in the community. Some protest against the status quo and some endorse the status quo, depending on what the status quo might be from time to time. A significant amount of funding will always come from government, or should always come from government, because if government is interested in the development of our society it will be interested in the development of the arts. This is where I get to the point of the independence of the arts.

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