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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4179 ..

We have the national institutions that no other city can have. Only a national capital can really have them, whether it be the art gallery, the War Memorial, the Portrait Gallery, the Museum, the National Library or Questacon—whatever they are. But we are obviously not utilising them. That includes the Botanic Gardens and the collections that the CSIRO hold, for instance. What we need from the minister are policy and outcomes. Part (2) of my motion calls on the minister to develop a schedule and report back to the Assembly in February. They have had enough time. (Time expired.)

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (5.13): I rise today to speak to Mr Smyth’s motion on arts in this place. It is almost an annual motion. Again, I thank him for the opportunity to come to the Assembly and talk about the strengths of our arts sector and the significant outcomes achieved by this government in supporting arts in the city and the surrounds.

Let me again, as I have done many times before, recognise the 2012 arts policy framework as that: a framework. It reflected the government’s continuing commitment to the local arts sector, outlined our priorities and articulated the guiding vision, the principles and the activities that supported those priorities. The principles of the framework contributed to every decision artsACT made about funding, made about the projects and made about the fundamental changes to the arts landscape.

In preparing and implementing the 2012 arts policy framework—Mr Smyth is very, quick to speak ill of it, I must say, and of the officials that crafted that framework—the ACT government looked broadly at the work of artsACT and considered all the elements to be addressed. The principles of the framework were incorporated into the everyday work of artsACT and were included in the funding guidelines and communicated at every opportunity to the sector. They informed the significant projects and drove change to the arts landscape in the ACT.

The 2015 arts policy, which I publicly released this year along with the economic overview of arts in the ACT, outlines the vision, values and principles which artsACT operates within to make sure that it is a lively and informed arts community. It is clearly stated in our ACT arts policy that our vision is for Canberra to be a diverse and dynamic arts ecology, valued locally, nationally and globally. Artists, art organisations, art workers and audiences are all elements of the arts ecology in our region.

Mr Smyth in his motion calls on the government to develop a consultative schedule with all the arts communities here in the ACT. I take a moment to clearly outline the level of consultation that was held with the arts community in the development of the ACT arts policy. The first step was the appointment of an independent reference group. The specific goal of this reference group was to guide the consultation process. Following the establishment of this group, artsACT commenced consultation with local arts organisations, artists and the public.

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