Page 5043 - Week 13 - Thursday, 29 November 2018

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very few options to continue developing their skills in year 11 and 12. The H course is highly regarded, and many students have gone on to tertiary study, and professional careers. The H course combines individual tuition, ensemble and classroom based learning models, is delivered by professional musicians and music educators employed on an as-needs basis, and utilises ANU School of Music’s state-of-the-art music education facilities. The running costs of the course are very low - approximately $270,000 per annum, for a cohort of approximately 40 students across years 11 and 12. This represents excellent value for money for the ACT.

Your petitioners therefore request the Assembly to demand the ACT government immediately restore funding to the ‘H course’ delivered by the ANU School of Music.

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petitions would be recorded in Hansard and referred to the appropriate ministers for response pursuant to standing order 100, the petitions were received.

Music H course funding—petitions 18-18 and 24-18

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.02), by leave: First of all, I want to give you all the good news. There will be another H course rally outside the Assembly at lunchtime. That is probably the most important thing I have to say to fellow members here today, but I will talk a little bit about the substantive issue.

Clearly, it really is a significant issue. There are nearly 1,000 signatories, which is great. The last rally was two months ago, outside the Assembly, and unfortunately the questions have not yet been resolved. I understand that there are still discussions going on between the ANU and the ACT government. In fact, I will be having a briefing from the ANU next week. I wish it could have been done earlier, but that is the situation.

Both the education minister and the arts minister have told me that in fact the ACT has not decreased funding. I am not suggesting in any way that I doubt that—I am sure that is the case—so I am not quite sure why the ANU is no longer doing the H course. It is really beyond me as to why the ANU has decided not to do the H course. This petition has come to us, but I will make sure when I see the ANU next week, if not before that, that the ANU is aware that there are nearly 1,000 signatories to a petition by people in Canberra saying that this is a really important course and we would like to see it continue. The musicians and these 1,000 signatories deserve a clear answer from the ANU and from the government as to why the changes have been made.

I appreciate that the minister for the arts talked about some replacement programs, such as Girls Rock! Canberra, and they are great programs. I am not anti those, and I am sure the people who signed the petition are not anti those. They are saying, though, that if you are a talented musician in Canberra in your final years of college, previously you were able to have music, via the H course, as part of your formal education, counted towards your ATAR. Now it appears that this will not be the case. This is really disappointing. I look forward to the ANU, as well as the

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