Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1419 ..
MR WOOD (continuing):
I am writing to urge you to reinstate the $1.6 million you had planned to cut from the budget to the Institute of the Arts. This unanticipated cut, coming on top of the Federal government's cuts to the university budget, will inevitably have a devastating effect on the Institute's community programs. It is important to spell out the effects - - -
Mr Moore: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker. I would have thought Mr Wood would recognise that this is reflecting on a vote of the Assembly. We have just had a - - -
MR SPEAKER: No, I do not uphold the point of order. Proceed, Mr Wood.
MR WOOD: The letter continues:
It is important to spell out the effects on the lives and budgets of ACT families, and the deprivation it will cause in the lives of the musical young people as well as in the wider community.
For example, single studies tuition will become financially out of reach of ordinary families. In addition, and you may not realise this, there are not enough private music teachers in Canberra to meet the demand, even for popular instruments like the violin (my daughter's instrument): teachers are fully booked with long waiting lists, so these cuts will effectively deprive many of the most promising young Canberra musicians of instrument tuition. School-aged students who learn from full-time members of the School of Music staff will be the worst affected. I am sure you understand the time and commitment that musical children make, often, like my own daughter, from the age of five. It is hardly fair to cut short their musical development, thereby depriving the community of their gifts and causing individuals great grief. Both our children are single study students of the School of Music, already stretching our family budget. Like many ACT families we have only one full-time income because of the cuts to the Public Service and to the universities.
A second effect is that community groups such as the various ensembles of the Canberra Youth Orchestra Society will no longer be able to afford the full commercial rates that will be necessary to rehearse or perform at the School of Music. You may not be aware that suitable and affordable venues are very hard to come by. This will affect my thirteen-year-old son, who rehearses with the Percussion Ensemble of the Canberra Youth Orchestra Society at the School of Music ...
The School of Music has shaped our children's lives in many important respects, and at least one of them may make a future career in music ...
It is important to acknowledge that musical children trained at the School of Music make an unquantifiably valuable contribution to the community. For no payment whatsoever they perform at public festivals such as Floriade, Autumnfest and open days at Lanyon.