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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3515 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

fireworks being let off on the ground by members of the community, as I have said in this place before, but I acknowledge that Harold did a fantastic job and is a very fine pyrotechnician.

Mr Speaker, the Tuggeranong community has got together and shown the rest of Canberra how it can celebrate itself and promote itself to the region. I would urge the people who are supposedly the professionals at CTEC to go on down and talk to these so-called amateur people, led by Michael Lindfield, and be told just how it is done. I think the Tuggeranong community can be very proud of its actions in taking the lead in this town.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services) (12.21): Mr Speaker, I acknowledge what Mr Hargreaves has said about the 2002 community festival and join him in congratulating the organisers. Festival activity plays an essential part in enriching our community's experiences and in celebrating Canberra, its people, and special characteristics.

The variety of festival activity in the ACT is a reflection of the diversity of our community and the uniqueness of what we have to offer. We have a wide range of quality festivals, such as the National Folk Festival, the International Chamber Music Festival and, something different again, the Tuggeranong Community Festival, with the emphasis on "community".

We have made a commitment to providing encouragement and support for the development of festivals through the newly established festival fund. The sum of $250,000 has been made available through the fund to support existing and well-established festivals and to encourage new and developing festivals. Most importantly, this new program is in addition to the funding provided to major events through the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation.

The new ACT festival fund will provide support for local community-based festivals and celebrations that are not normally supported by CTEC. It will enhance the vital role that local festivals play in creating a vibrant community spirit. Through the fund, the government will support festivals that, firstly, reflect the wide range of our community's interests and activities; secondly, enrich our community's experience of living in Canberra; thirdly, actively engage our community as participants and audiences; fourthly, are innovative and of high-quality; and, fifthly, are well managed and viable.

Needless to say, Mr Hargreaves, funding from the source I have indicated will be hotly contested by groups such as the Tuggeranong Community Festival, but you certainly have the runs on the board. You have the record. Applications to the fund are peer assessed by the ACT festival fund assessment committee. This committee is made up of respected practitioners from the events industry who bring with them a variety of specific festival interest, expertise and knowledge. The committee has currently 30 applications for consideration, and I am expecting recommendations from them shortly on activities proposed for 2003. Mr Hargreaves, I would expect the Tuggeranong Community Festival to have an application in for 2003.

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