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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4180 ..

A community forum was attended by more than 65 people. A sector workshop was attended by over 30 people. A Facebook group was established with young and emerging artists. An online survey was completed by more than 100 participants and 26 thoughtful and considered written submissions were received. Overall, more than 300 individuals and organisations were engaged in this consultation process.

I am very pleased to report that I have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the ACT arts policy. The support of the policy is reflected in a sense of ownership by the arts sector. Recently I attended the launch of the Canberra International Film Festival and the announcement of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment’s sponsorship of the festival. At the launch the festival general manager, Dr Andrew Pike, spoke highly of the arts policy. He further took the time to write to me, and I quote from his letter:

I was also very pleased to have had an opportunity in your presence to express the high regard I have for ACT Arts Policy. I had the pleasure of lobbying for that Policy … when I was on the artsACT Cultural Council, and I am very proud of its significant difference from other arts policies and the empowerment that it gives to many people in the community. It is certainly an approach to the arts and the broad community that I am doing my best to embrace in the running of the Festival.

That is a direct quote from the general manager of the International Film Festival. To this end, the community consultation was an essential part of the project, and artsACT did a fantastic job engaging with artists and the community during the development of this policy.

Since the release of the policy, artsACT has had regular conversations with representatives from across the arts sector to identify where efforts should be focused during this initial stage of implementation. ArtsACT will also be undertaking more regular forums to discuss particular issues with the community more broadly and with particular sectors.

Alongside the development of artsACT policy, the government compiled an economic overview of arts in the ACT to assess the contribution arts and the cultural sector make to the ACT’s economy. The report shows that the arts contribute directly to the ACT economy in a number of ways, including employment, cultural tourism and education. It shows that arts and culture are, indeed, an important part of the lives of individuals as well as the whole economic and social fabric of Canberra.

Let me run through a few of the key findings of this economic study. It showed that in 2012-13 the direct input of the arts and the cultural sector in the ACT was estimated to be $974 million, of which the arts was responsible for $361 million. The arts and cultural sector directly added $426 million of value to the economy. This was equivalent to 1.3 per cent of the total value added by industry. Of this, $162 million was associated with the arts. Further, the arts and cultural sector in the ACT employed 6,456 persons in 2011, and this was equivalent to 3.1 per cent of ACT employment.

Canberrans spend approximately $211 million per year on cultural activities, which is a higher per capita level than other capital cities. In 2013-14 nearly 350,000 people

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