Page 3188 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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Mr Smyth and Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I do not want to warn you at this time of the night on a long sitting night; so please do not push the boundaries. And Mr Doszpot will stop talking across the chamber.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.21—Cultural Facilities Corporation—$7,958,000 (net cost of outputs) and $2,490,000 (capital injection), totalling $10,448,000.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.23): There is some overlap between the Cultural Facilities Corporation and, clearly, the arts portfolio; so I will address a few issues on both. Indeed, of all the groups that appeared, the view of the Childers Group was very interesting. They came and spoke about the arts sector in the ACT, facilities, pay and some very serious issues. And I refer members to pages 168 and 169 of the report.

The Childers Group were very concerned about the future of the arts sector in the ACT. They welcomed some of the initiatives in the centenary year but they then went on to say, firstly, that what they thought was truly lacking was that the government got rid of the Cultural Council without revealing what its successor might be or what it might look at and that, secondly, there was a lack of a long-term vision from the government in regards to the arts. They were talking of a 25-year vision. They saw that that was important and had hoped that something significant might come out of the centenary year with regards to that.

Recommendation 145 asks that the government detail what the successor for the Cultural Council might be, and I am not sure we have got the detail for that. Then recommendations 146 through 151 are a selection of recommendations. The first one is:

The Committee recommends that post-Loxton Review and the Centenary year that the ACT Government develop a vision, a strategy to deliver the vision and an action plan for the Arts in the ACT for the next 25 years …

This is what the sector is saying. If you are serious about developing the arts in the ACT, it is not a stop/start thing. It is not something you foresee over a year or two. It is about developing that sort of infrastructure that allows the propagation of the arts and you actually have that whole arts community seep into the fabric of the city.

They raised the issue of payments inside the arts sector and recommended that we look at benchmarking the ACT against the other arts sector across the country, and that is recommendation 48. Recommendation 49 links into the conversation about the people who appeared representing the Childers Group and suggested that those staff who work in the arts sector, and who, for instance, are not in the Cultural Facilities Corporation or Arts ACT, have wages lower than the community sector.

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