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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 August 2017) . . Page.. 2663 ..

Stage 2 of the BAC will add a 400-seat multipurpose auditorium, new dance and rehearsal studios, an expanded exhibition space, new workshop spaces and a bar and cafe to this popular and important community facility. We will also be funding $880,000 in continuing upgrades across the Ainslie, Gorman, Strathnairn, Tuggeranong and Watson arts centres.

We will be increasing the baseline funding pool for arts project grants to a minimum of $750,000, as well as an additional $100,000 specifically for engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures. We will be funding Art, Not Apart, the Design Canberra Festival and Kulture Break for the next three years, as well as new community-based arts festivals in Woden and Gungahlin. And there will be $250,000 per year for the ANU’s new advanced music performance program.

Overall, this package of $21.6 million in new funding over the next four years is the single largest injection of government funding into the arts since ACT self-government. And this is on top of nearly $6 million in funding we continue to provide annually to 25 arts organisations in the ACT, and it is on top of over $1 million the government provides in support of community outreach programs by the ANU’s School of Music and School of Art and Design.

This funding is also in addition to the $8.7 million annually that goes toward the funding of the Cultural Facilities Corporation which runs the Canberra Theatre Centre, the Canberra Museum and Gallery, the Nolan Collection and historic places like Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga Mugga.

The ACT government is continuing to invest in building a creative, livable, vibrant Canberra, recognising the important contribution that the arts make to the identity, the vibrancy and the livability of our city. I look forward to continuing to work with the Canberra arts community to ensure that arts and culture in the ACT are inclusive, accessible and community building. I commend the budget to the Assembly.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.45): As Mr Rattenbury said, basically the Greens are happy with this budget. It does reflect in many ways the Greens-ALP agreement and includes some things that clearly the Greens are particularly pleased about. I will quickly mention a few of those as this is my first speech on the budget. There is $65 million to improve our public transport, including light rail and buses. This is more investment in public transport than there is in roads. This is a great change of priorities for the ACT. I look forward to seeing it continue.

An amount of $12 million is provided to support active travel and active living in the ACT. There is a commitment of an additional $30 million in the parliamentary agreement over the four years for bike paths and cycle lanes, including much-needed maintenance. There is a $1.9 million investment to deliver a climate change adaptation strategy, half a million dollars for community grants to undertake zero net emissions projects, funding for an EER review and building quality review processes.

Turning to people, there is funding for the drug and alcohol court, the office for mental health, prison industries and increased support for the Office for Disability.

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