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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2630 ..

We know that in 2012-13, the direct output of the arts and the cultural sector in the ACT was estimated to be $974 million, of which arts was responsible for $361 million. This is a significant amount. The 2015-16 year budget has committed $496,000 over two years for capital upgrades for artsACT-owned facilities. This builds on investment over the years.

This year’s budget also sees the finalisation of stage 1 of the Ainslie and Gorman arts centres upgrades and will be the first year of operation of these arts hubs in the refurbished facilities. This government’s commitment of $2.5 million for these two heritage buildings has produced extraordinary results for the operation of these facilities. I saw firsthand the changes at Ainslie Arts Centre when they had their official opening a few weeks ago.

Total funding for arts activities through artsACT in the 2015-16 financial year continues to increase by CPI across this year and in the outyears. This includes $5.7 million for the arts fund and $3 million for a range of activities, including core funding for Canberra Glassworks, Belconnen Arts Centre, the ANU community outreach program and other initiatives, including arts residencies and the visual arts and craft strategy.

The budget reflects the government’s commitment and belief that arts play an integral part in our culture and in our community. This budget reflects our commitment to encourage creativity, celebration, thinking and exchange. Canberra is a diverse and dynamic place thanks to our arts ecology, recognised and valued locally, nationally and globally to the benefit of all our community.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.54): I would like to make a few points today, firstly, about the public housing renewal program and asset recycling initiative and then about Access Canberra.

The public housing renewal program was discussed in detail during the estimates hearing. We have talked about it many times in this place as well, including discussing the new public housing developments underway in Nicholls, Chisholm and Monash. During the estimates hearings, Mr Collett, the executive coordinator of the Public Housing Renewal Taskforce, when discussing the Nicholls development, said:

I think that many of the concerns that were raised about people who are aged or have a disability represented a failure on our part to adequately communicate with the community …

That is what we have seen several times on this government’s part—a failure to adequately communicate with the community, including people in public housing properties along Northbourne Avenue.

I am pleased to see in the government’s response to the estimates report that the government has made a commitment to some of the recommendations. Recommendation 52 stated:

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