Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay has determined that only a select few will have a seat at roundtable for an arts advisory body, Shadow Arts Minister Vicki Dunne said today.

ArtsACT is undertaking a consultation on the potential for forming a new Ministerial Advisory body for the arts. Despite inviting people to become involved in the process, the ACT government will only allow individuals it has handpicked to join roundtable discussions.

“Calling for expressions of interest from people wishing to attend the roundtable is one thing, cherry picking a select few from that list is another entirely,” Mrs Dunne said.

“Anyone who expresses interest should be welcomed to the roundtable even if it means several meetings with larger gatherings.

“A future for an arts advisory body is an important matter: Arts in the ACT has languished since the demise of the ACT Cultural Council. We need to create a body more able to advise the minister about the future of the arts in the ACT.

“Instead of picking and choosing participants to suit his own ends, the minister should take on as many and as wide a range of views as possible.

“The minister should be meeting the needs of the arts sector, not his own.

“This is just another case of the government wanting to hear only from people who will tell it what it wants, not what it needs,” Mrs Dunne concluded.