Page 4204 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Arts. In response to a question from myself, about the fringe festival during the annual reports hearings, you said, “To date the contract has been managed. To date, the fringe festival program is being delivered. I was going to have a quiet word with Mr Manikis at some point during the day just to give me confidence that this is continuing to be the case.” What is the latest advice you have received from your directorate about the management of the 2014 fringe festival? Do you continue to have full confidence in the management of the fringe festival?

MS BURCH: Yes, I do.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, what role, if any, did you play in the appointment of the creative director of the fringe festival?

MS BURCH: I made the appointment.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what benefits does the fringe festival bring to the ACT?

MS BURCH: I do thank Mr Gentleman for the supplementary question about the fringe festival. The fringe festival was part and parcel of the National Multicultural Festival for many years. As we were redefining the footprints and the timelines for the National Multicultural Festival—and there was a period of change a number of years ago—the contract for funding for the fringe festival was given to the Folk Festival and it was held out at EPIC. When that contract came to an end, there was certainly a very persistent call to me by fringe festival lovers to bring the Fringe back to the National Multicultural Festival and to have it in the heart of the city.

We secured funding for $20,000, and we will have a fringe festival come this February. From what I am hearing, the festival is shaping up to be quite innovative, to add another fringe flair to the entertainment for many who would like to go. And I will look with interest to see whether any of those opposite have any fringe flair in them and attend the fringe festival in February.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, what was the latest advice you received from the directorate after that quiet word with Mr Manikis?

MS BURCH: It is arts funding but it is being managed in partnership with Mr Manikis, who has overall—

Mr Hanson: Any advice from Elias?

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