Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1394 ..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
We need to have world class performance venues to give these people that opportunity to develop that expertise, and that comes out of the School of Music, but we do not get that by just enrolling as a tertiary student from interstate.
In this town 30 per cent of the students of the Canberra School of Music are doing tertiary qualifications. The other 70 per cent are people who just do music as part of their lives. Most of that 30 per cent were born and bred and developed in this town in the very system that we are now defunding. We need to try to do something about that. We need to remember that a large part of the role of the School of Music is to support student performances, school performances and community group performances which contribute to our cultural lives. It is just not possible for these community groups to be able to afford to put these things on. A very small scale performance at the School of Music in Llewellyn Hall, where you need those sorts of crowds to attract ticket sales and to keep them going, costs about $20,000 to put on. To do that on a cost-recovery basis is just beyond the means of these people. The same thing applies in some of the performance venues on level 5, the tiered ones and the flat studios. These community groups just cannot afford to do so. So we need to consider our community service obligation.
Musical and artistic culture in this town will be a mirror of what we are like as a society in years to come. When people look back on this society in years to come they will see whether we were a mature society, whether we had anything to offer, whether we left anything behind. We must recognise the fact that we need to nurture this stuff and keep it going. In making these statements, I recognise the Government's good works in supporting other parts of the arts. I do not wish for a moment to have this thing take centre stage, as it were.
I want to take issue about the process, the $1.6m cut. The Government, as I understand it, has had a member or an appointee on the ITA board for some time.
Mr Corbell: Two, I think.
MR HARGREAVES: Two. Thank you very much, Mr Corbell. I understand from the School of Music staff and management that they recognise how difficult it is to cost out these community activities; to cost out the trickle-down effect. In fact, we are having that difficulty with the hospitals and casemix. It is very difficult to quantify this stuff. But they are not saying, "Give us the money and let us forget about it". They are saying, "Give us the framework to develop these costings and we are happy to tell you. Do not just cut us off and leave us to sink".
Mr Humphries: We are not doing that. We are not cutting them off. That is the point.
MR HARGREAVES: I hear Mr Humphries say, "We are not cutting them off". I accept that in part, but I do not see any evidence of any recurrent support. This Government has not developed with the ITA board and with the management of those institutions performance and output measures which can allow them to create a demonstration of public benefit. I would be urging the Government to come up with the