Page 2213 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 June 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth!

MS GALLAGHER: funding from the ACT government be maintained—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I am warning you!

MS GALLAGHER: at three per cent. It is extra money to the Catholic system primary schools and it is extra money to government schools over and above what we were expecting to receive in the forward estimates. That was reflected in the budget papers outlined by the commonwealth and will be updated in our budget papers as well.


MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for the Arts. I refer to the minister’s announcement last week on support for the arts. Could the minister provide details on this support, including how it will assist the development of arts hubs in Canberra?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest. Last week I announced that the government is to provide $2.8 million over the next two years so that we can progress the establishment of arts hubs in Ainslie and Kingston, as well as undertake some refurbishment work at Gorman House Arts Centre. This commitment significantly progresses an election commitment that I made last year, as part of ACT Labor’s comprehensive arts policy, which the arts community widely recognised as the most comprehensive and forward-thinking arts policy taken to the election by any party.

I announced last week that through artsACT we will invest $1.5 million in the 2013-14 year to undertake capital works needed to transform the Ainslie Arts Centre into a music hub, and $300,000 to progress the establishment of a visual arts hub in Kingston. I also announced $1 million over two years that will be used to refurbish the historic Gorman House Arts Centre, which is home to dozens of community groups and organisations.

The investment in Kingston and at the Ainslie Arts Centre does progress our commitment of two years ago, following the release of the Loxton report, to establishing three arts hubs dedicated to visual, musical and performing arts. To put this in context, over two years ago the government engaged independent consultant Peter Loxton to review Canberra’s arts sector, with over 500 individuals, artists and representatives from local arts organisations participating in the review. The report made 118 recommendations around enhancing and reforming arts policy in the ACT. This was a comprehensive review of the arts sector in Canberra, commissioned by former Chief Minister and arts minister Jon Stanhope, and which sparked some major reforms around how we support the arts in this city, and I am pleased that I have been able to continue to progress many of these reforms. The establishment of arts hubs was perhaps the biggest reform that the government has agreed to, and this work is well on its way.

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