Page 3580 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009

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within a particular description that we charge for would perhaps be better abandoned or not charged for; but conversely, that we actually charge more for delivering some other service. That is the nature of the conversation that we are going to have.

We have undertaken to consult the people of Canberra in relation to all of these issues. These are difficult decisions; they are hard decisions. We believe it is important that we consult the people of Canberra. We are committed to consultation and we, of course, look forward with great interest to the response of the Liberal Party to these significant issues.

National Multicultural Festival—funding

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and is in regard to festival and fringe funding decisions. The minister announced a funding boost to the National Folk Festival last week of $90,000 over three years. The money is to support a fringe event that will “add to the increasingly popular National Folk Festival”. Can the minister advise the Assembly if these funds come from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, what advice he received on redirecting funds in this way and whether he will table that advice in the Assembly before the end of sitting today.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. I do not recall receiving written advice on that, but I will have a look and—

Mr Seselja: Don’t worry about advice!

MR HARGREAVES: Give us a go, will you?

Opposition members interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: How about you just settle, petal? Settle, will you?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Let us hear from Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: I will have a look at the papers and I will give you a copy of them as soon as I can. But I can tell you this, in answer to your question: the amount of money is coming from the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services global budget. The amount of money which has been allocated for the festival for 2010 is a figure just over $400,000. It has a CPI component which goes on top of that. I am not quite sure what that figure is; it is something like $18,000.

The total cost which was absorbed by the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services last year was in the order of $960,000. So we know that there is that amount of money available for application to other Disability, Housing and Community Services programs, if it were not to be applied to the Multicultural Festival. From that, the amount of money of $30,000 a year to go to the Folk Festival will be applied.

With respect to the position that we took, much of this came from discussion in my office with officers around the expenditure on the National Multicultural Festival.

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