Page 4189 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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MR SPEAKER: I agree with the approach that Mr Corbell outlines. I think that is the best way to proceed at this point. Minister Burch, being mindful of the discussion we have just had.

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question and I welcome the opportunity to highlight some of the excellent work the ACT government is doing in partnership with the Canberra arts community. As people in this place may be aware, on the weekend I released the government’s response to the Loxton review, so it is something that is already in place. Given the earlier discussion, that seems to be fine, Mr Speaker.

I am confident this exercise will result in a more collaborative and coordinated and vibrant arts sector for the ACT, and I want to thank my predecessor in the role, the former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, for his passion for the arts and his foresight in commissioning the Peter Loxton review.

The Loxton review contained 118 wide-ranging recommendations, and I am pleased to say that the ACT government has agreed to 72 of them and agreed in principle to another 20. New initiatives that will be supported include the creation of the arts hub, the ACT cultural facilities plan and the ACT artists in residence program.

Other recommendations agreed to include an increased focus in artsACT on policy and data collection, streamlining processes for the assessment of the ACT arts fund including the introduction of online grants, increasing support to emerging professional and Indigenous artists and establishing internal and external partnerships.

A lot of community consultation went into the government’s response. A number of different consultative mechanisms with both key stakeholders and the broader community were used throughout the review process. In August of last year the government commenced the consultation on the Loxton review and received 74 submissions from a range of individuals, local and national arts organisations, artists, peak bodies as well as other stakeholders. I understand that 34 of these submissions have been made public on the website. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a supplementary question.

MR HARGREAVES: Minister, what recommendations contained in the Loxton review are already being implemented?

MS BURCH: A number of the recommendations agreed to are well progressed. The Assembly would have noted we have provided funding for several initiatives in the most recent budget, including $3.2 million to upgrade the Street Theatre—which we hope will be the centrepiece of a performance arts hub—and $204,000 over four years to establish an artists in residence program.

For Mr Hargreaves and other members’ information, other recommendations implemented have been: the creation of an assessment panel for the arts fund and establishment of start-up grants for young artists, and the provision of out of-round

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