Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4781 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
upshot of this meeting was that the ACT Festival Fund advised Colin Slater to proceed with the application.
The application for funding from the ACT Festival Fund was duly submitted by the due date with full supporting information including an attached letter from Mrs Turbayne advising that ACT Government support through the Festival Fund was crucial to the ongoing success of Australia Day in Canberra. It also requested early approval given the lead time needed to organise such an event. The application also made reference to a discussion that the Minister, Bill Wood, had with Colin Slater in January last year, where the Minister asked if it was proposed to have a fireworks display on Australia Day. On being informed that a fireworks display was being proposed he expressed some delight in that, because of the pressure he had received following the Government's decision to not have fireworks on New Year's Eve. So the current application for funding also offered the possibility for the Government to fund a fireworks display on Australia Day. That point has obviously been overlooked, and indeed, the discussion that Bill Wood had with Colin Slater.
Approximately six weeks ago Colin Slater phoned-
it was a public servant; I won't name the person-
... of the Festival Fund to inquire about the status of the application for funding. He was informed that no decision had been made. He was certainly not informed of any difficulty with the application.
On Thursday 30 October Colin Slater phoned-
the same public servant-
... once again to ask about the status of the application. He was informed once again that no decision had been made as yet. He particularly needed to know prior to attending a meeting of all the Executive Directors of Australia Day from around the country. During that meeting he was phoned from the office of Australia Day in the National Capital advising that a letter from the Minister, interestingly dated 30 October, had been received advising that there would be no funding for Australia Day in the National Capital. It is also interesting to note that no phone call was received from ACT Festival Fund.
Australia Day in the National Capital has not, to our knowledge, been advised at any time by the ACT Festival Fund to amend our application.
The event being proposed by Australia Day in the National Capital is a 'Picnic in the Park' it was not proposed as a concert.
The 'Picnic in the Park' is an afternoon event, and is completely different to the event on Australia Day eve. It has an Australia Day theme and it involves Canberra artists.
Attached is a list of the members of the Committee which represents a broad range of experience and interest in the community.