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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4187 ..

The priorities and actions which will see this Policy implemented are set out in the strategic plans of both artsACT and the CFC.

They pre-existed. So we have policy that simply confirms the pre-existing strategic plans of artsACT and the Cultural Facilities Corporation, instead of leading the debate, setting up the framework and driving the work of the public servants.

It goes on to say, Mr Rattenbury—and this is why a list is important; you have to keep it basic for this minister because she does not perform very well:

Sitting alongside these strategic documents will be a number of operational plans which are to be developed by artsACT on issues such as: research and data; cultural infrastructure; communications; community arts and cultural development; and funding.

I would have thought that you could say, “We did the consultation, we released the framework, and here’s the progress to date.” This has been running for six months, but apparently nothing has happened, because the minister could not tell us what had been done. That is why a list is required, Mr Rattenbury, because you have to keep it very basic for this minister.

Mr Rattenbury, you said, “I thank the minister for the work that has been done in the report that shows the value of the arts,” but obviously you did not hear what I said about the underperformance of the arts. These numbers, whereby the ACT economy got $426 million from the arts and cultural sector, were in 2012-13. The numbers I quoted for the national average, according to the Australia Council, were from 2010-11. So it is the year before, and it is still three to five times less than what you would expect.

That is the problem. We have this funding. We have a vibrant arts centre. We have the national institutions. We have local infrastructure, whether it be the half-built Belconnen Arts Centre; and I know Mrs Dunne has been advocating to get a theatre, a town hall, in the Belconnen precinct so that they can do the sorts of things that Mr Gentleman knows occur in Tuggeranong, because we have a facility there that has a theatre. Of course, there is no mention of that. We have the national infrastructure and we have territory infrastructure. Then there is the local infrastructure that exists in the community and the surrounding region. It is there, but it is not being tied together, it is not being utilised and it is certainly not being led. That is what is lacking here.

I will go through the numbers again, because obviously Mr Rattenbury missed them. The value of arts in 2012-13 to the ACT was $426 million, 1.3 per cent of total value-added by industry. Nationally, cultural activity is estimated to make up around four per cent of Australia’s GDP. So we are way underperforming, Mr Rattenbury. If you are not concerned about it, I certainly am, because this is the money that comes in to fund education, health, police officers on the street and better infrastructure. The government’s own report says, with respect to employment, that this was equivalent to 3.1 per cent of ACT employment.

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