Page 2758 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

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There are many other issues in relation to the arts. Some of them we will touch on. The ACT previously had a peak arts body, which has been abolished by this government. That was Canberra Arts Marketing, which was de-funded at the end of 2008. There is a mixed view in the arts community about that, but there is also a view that there needs to be some replacement for that. It is interesting to note that the ALP’s 2008 election platform said, amongst other things, that it would continue the funding for Canberra Arts Marketing and that this would be part of its strategy for 2009-10 to expand cultural tourism. It also said—

Mr Hargreaves: Madam Assistant Speaker, point of order.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Stop the clock, please. Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hargreaves: Madam Assistant Speaker, I wish to rise on a point of order, and I apologise for my tardiness. I am a bit affected by this. On four occasions this evening, Mrs Dunne has used the term “spac attack” in relation to behaviour that she perceives the Chief Minister to have undertaken. As the minister for disability, I was offended by this, but I just wanted to check my facts and make sure that I was not overreacting. I understand that that terminology was used in the federal Senate and that a senator was asked to retract and to apologise for the use of that phrase. I would ask that you seek for Mrs Dunne to stand, retract that term and apologise for it.

MRS DUNNE: If Mr Hargreaves is offended by that, I have no problem at all in withdrawing.

Mr Hargreaves: Thank you, Vicki.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Restart the clock, please.

MRS DUNNE: In addition to its election commitment to continuing funding for Canberra Arts Marketing, the Labor platform states that in pursuing a strategy around cultural development Labor will:

Encourage and support the establishment of a peak Arts advocacy body to complement at a public level the work of the Cultural Council.

So I was surprised that when I asked the question, on notice, “Does the ACT Labor platform for 2008 commit to the establishment of a peak arts body in the ACT?” the answer came back, simply, “No.” So I am not quite sure whether there has been some misunderstanding, and I would ask the Chief Minister to review the answer to the question, to review his own policy and, if necessary, to correct those matters.

One other arts matter which came up in this budget was the decision to do away with the centenary art project. The decision to do away with the centenary art project was curious, because a lot of effort had gone into it. I am very unhappy about the way that the affected artists, the artists involved, were informed about this. It seemed that each of them found out about it by reading about it in the paper or by being approached by a journalist.

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