Page 1828 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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territory government, and it was a great incentive for young people involved in and having an interest in film.

The new guild is something worthy of support. But even with identified, well-intentioned ideas with great potential, many barriers are in place which block young filmmakers being able to pursue this initiative, there being very few avenues through which they can actually apply for funding. This is an area, Mr Speaker, that I would urge the government to look at more closely to assist in this industry, and I would hope that the private sector would in fact come into the equation here and provide some support.

The second matter I wish to speak to today involves a special farewell for and acknowledgment of the Ambassador of Argentina, Nestor Stancanelli, who is also dean of the diplomatic corps and is known to many of us here. The ambassador and his wife, Martha, have served Canberrans and Australians alike as Ambassador of Argentina for seven years. Throughout this period, as many would know, a lot of things have been achieved. He has served in Canberra throughout the life of two governments, and the ambassador has dealt regularly with both private and public organisations and other embassies in Buenos Aires and Canberra.

What stands out, I guess, in my capacity as the opposition spokesman on arts is that amongst various projects that Ambassador Stancanelli has been involved with are the cultural aspects and influences that Argentina has been able to exert in the ACT, and his support for activities here has been abundant. Indeed, there has been quite a marked increase in these events over the past seven years, allowing the Australian and Argentine communities to learn much more about each other.

There are many events promoted by the embassy, and they will remain a testimony to the strength and cultural relationship between Australia and Argentina. I cite, for example, the presentation of Borges’s manuscript, The Dream of Coleridge, and his phrase “To read in the libraries of dreams” that opened the Treasures of the World’s Great Libraries exhibition.

They have supported literary evenings, concerts and performances by many talented artists and have even supported the funding of sculptures such as the Arc of the Sun, which is exhibited in the sculpture park at the Australian National University; the scale model of Caminito, a neighbourhood of Buenos Aires that is at Cockington Green; and the monument in the Latin America Square in Sydney to General Jose de San Martin who liberated Argentina, Chile and Peru.

In concluding my remarks, I would like to express on the record my great thanks to the ambassador and his wife for their contributions to cultural activities in Canberra. They have been inspirations to many here and they have played an outstanding role on behalf of their country, as contributors to the diplomatic community. I am sure I speak for many in wishing him well in his future endeavours back in his own country.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.29 pm.

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