Local arts lets down by Minister who is not up to the job

Two years after the launch of the ACT government’s Arts Policy Framework, Minister Burch has been unable to detail any significant achievements for the Arts in Canberra while she’s also shown her lack of understanding of the portfolio, Shadow Minister for Arts Brendan Smyth said today.

“Changes to the Arts funding guidelines seem to be the only outcome and that has been a failure with $18 thousand dollars granted to a theatre group to develop a work with the completely inappropriate title of ‘Kill Climate Deniers’,” Mr Smyth said.

The Arts Policy Framework states:

“The Framework provides a structure within which arts policy and the goals and outcomes associated with the policy will be developed, and will guide the implementation and review of existing policies and programs,” – Arts Policy Framework pg 7.

“More than two years after the fanfare of the Framework’s release, Minister Burch failed to outline to a Legislative Assembly committee this afternoon a single policy development, outcome or goal as outlined in the Framework.

“Furthermore, when questioned about Arts funding the Minister did not know about the total overall budget figure for the Arts. $8.5 million was suggested yet the budget papers show an appropriation of $11.096 million government payment for outputs (GPO) for 2014-15. Joy Burch needs to confirm how much funding there actually is.

“The Arts in the ACT is suffering as a consequence of a Minister who is not across her brief and the Arts community deserves much better. The Minister is always up for a photo opportunity, a launch or a press release, but it’s time she actually did her job,” Mr Smyth concluded