Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1345 ..
Ms Carnell: Yes, whom we fund.
MR WOOD: I know you fund it, but you cannot fund it to the extent of providing the people for it. That is the point with Max McBride. If we lose Max McBride, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra does not have a major player. If we lose Max McBride, the Canberra Youth Orchestra does not have a conductor. This is the sort of thing that will occur. What about the visual arts? You go to so many places around here and find that connection is there to the Institute of the Arts. Sadly today, with the Chief Minister's interjections, it is demonstrated that she does not understand this. Moving around in the artistic culture of Canberra she does not understand it. (Extension of time granted)
Let us get back to the community role. In the submission I mentioned, in the Government's own words, only a year or two ago it was recognised that the institute had a very large community role. Let me quote from that submission. These are Mr Humphries's words. It is worth noting the background of the funding arrangement. The same government submission said this:
Arrangements for the funding to the Institute by the ACT Government were put in place following self government. The level of grant provided resulted from negotiations involving the Commonwealth and ACT Governments, with reference to relevant findings of the Commonwealth Grants Commission and taking into account both the national significance of the Institute and its contribution to the cultural life of the ACT community.
The community role has been recognised for a very long time. From the same submission I quote:
The Institute makes a very significant contribution to the cultural life of the ACT community ... The programs ... enhance the quality of the ACT's cultural life and enable the ACT community to gain a greater knowledge and appreciation of the creative arts.
This is a relatively small community in Canberra. That institute has been able, wonderfully, to permeate our life and it has set out to deliberately do so. It seems that this Government is deliberately going to make that very difficult.
Ms Carnell: How do you know? The fact is that it is all hearsay.
MR WOOD: I am sorry, Chief Minister, you are on the wrong track. It is you - - -
Ms Carnell: Give us some facts that this is going to make any difference at all.