Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4178 ..
under the responsibility of this minister and ensure that we are in the schools, helping drive art, helping drive creativity, which builds resilience in our students and makes them more productive as well.”
Again, the Securing Australia’s Future—Australia’s Competitive Advantage final report from the Australian Council of Learned Academics was released in the past couple of days. On pages 52 and 53 there is a chart that says:
Government performance matters to industry with a range of respondents … saying government policies have a high to very high impact on industry growth …
Particularly in the arts. Indeed, in the chart it says that in a survey on the importance of government policy on industry growth in the arts, 60 per cent of respondents—the highest—rated it as very high. Sixty per cent said that government policy was very important. Yet we have a policy void in the minister. There is a policy void in the document. There is no coordination with other activities to ensure that we get the benefits that we should as a community and as individuals. So an opportunity goes begging. There is a section in this report, starting at page 106, that looks at cultural institutions. This is a really interesting line:
Cultural policy has never just been about ‘the arts’ but about creating citizens.
Citizens who participate and play a role in their community. It says:
Another important related problem is that the cultural or creative industries have been a peripheral concern of the arts and cultural funding bodies …
And that is continuing with this minister. Then we look at how the British saw it. An influential UK report on the review of creativity in business by Cox in 2005 “positioned design as a bridge between the arts and the engineering sciences”. So if we can make those links, we can all benefit. There was an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald recently. On 26 March, under the heading “How an Australian building’s unique design inspired a scientific breakthrough”, it was reported:
… Andrey Miroshnichenko drives past the Nishi building in Canberra every day on his way to work.
But the ANU physicist now looks at the building in a whole new light after he and a team of researchers were able to re-create its unusual zigzagging exterior on a small scale to provide the breakthrough they needed on their quest to put a perfect bend in light.
Art-inspiring scientific outcomes: who would have thought? If we go back to the report from Tourism Research Australia recently, they say they have detected a trend that says people want art and craft. They want culture, they want heritage, they want festivals and fairs and they want botanic gardens. We have all that in spades in this city, but our visitation is going down. That is to the shame of the tourism minister, but I think it is particularly to the shame of the arts minister.