Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 August 2016) . . Page.. 2499 ..
facility maintenance will ensure our appetite to play is matched with appropriate spaces, private and government-run places alike.
Lastly, in this Olympic and Paralympic year we all gain a better view of the achievements of some of our high performance athletes. Government support through training grants and the ACT Academy of Sport is key to helping many of them on their way. Our equal investments of $100,000 for the Australian Paralympic Committee and the Australian Olympic Council alike are providing further support to our athletes and the community spirit that surrounds them.
At all levels of sport and recreation the government is continuing its significant, equitable and community-based investments. Our goal is to push Canberra beyond being Australia’s most active city to also being its most equitable and inclusive sporting city.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.16): I would like to make a few comments about arts funding in the budget. In the estimates committee hearing, the minister outlined the integral role that arts and culture play in the lives of Canberra residents and the economy of Canberra. Further, he said that the ACT government’s arts funding priorities ensure that Canberra has a funding model that is sustainable, flexible and delivers on the principles contained within the arts policy. But what we found was that the minister had in fact provided $98,000 less in funding for the arts in the 2015-2016 estimated outcome to what is budgeted for in the 2016-2017 budget.
It is important to reiterate that the Childers Group undertook an analysis of ACT arts funding. They collated data about 1,500 grants distributed between 2003 and 2015 on a per capita inflation-adjusted basis. In 2004-2005, the funding was $24.79 per capita and it has decreased to $22.30 per capita in 2015-2016. The estimates committee was advised that the shortfall equates in today’s terms to $2 million less in arts grant funding compared to 12 years ago. Unfortunately this reduced funding is causing damage to the very people who create arts in our city.
On the one hand the government talks about the important role the arts play in the economy but on the other hand they are not supporting them. Mr Barr assures Canberrans that the budget provides the right services, facilities and infrastructure that residents and businesses deserve and expect. But it appears that they are penalising the arts community who provide the very social and economic fabric that strengthens our community in creating a vibrant, culturally rich and diverse city.
Time and time again we hear that funding for the arts is not adequate. Recommendations from the estimates committee of 2016-2017 outline that the ACT government should ensure in real terms increased funding to ACT arts over the next four years. The committee also recommends that there should be a review of major arts organisation funding to assess if current funding levels meet the need and improved consultation between its agencies to maximise the benefits of the arts to the ACT community.
I think that is a recommendation that has been made in the past about ensuring improved consultation between ACT government agencies to maximise the benefit of