Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 184


Senator Milne asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, upon notice, on 14 November 2008:

(1) (a)   How many times, since becoming Minister, has the Minister visited the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM); and (b) what were the dates and times of these visits.

(2) (a)   What specific steps were taken by the Minister and the department to determine whether or not ANAM and its board would be funded in 2009; (b) how many meetings were held, on what dates and by whom; and (c) what correspondence was sent and received and by whom.

(3)   Did the Minister meet with the board in person to discuss their response to criticisms of ANAM’s administration; if so, when.

(4)   Did the Minister or the department raise the prospect of immediate closure in any of these meetings; if not, why not.

(5)   Why did the Government decide to defund ANAM; and (b) when was this decision made.

(6)   Did the Minister or any departmental staff meet with or enter into correspondence or discussions with representatives of any other institution regarding the future of ANAM.

(7)   Can the Minister confirm: (a) that on 25 August 2008 the Minister made specific requests to ANAM which he insisted had to be met as part of the consideration of ANAM’s future; if so, what date was set for meeting these demands; and (b) that the board responded in detail to these demands within the time frame.

(8)   Did the Minister or the department receive any specific criticisms of ANAM from students, teachers or the public; if so: (a) how many; (b) on what dates; and (c) what were the specific criticisms.


Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1) (a)   & (b) The Minister has not visited ANAM.

(2)  

(a)   As part of its 2007 election policy New Directions for the Arts, the Government committed to consider the reviews of the Australian National Academy of Music as a teaching and training institution. The Minister considered the reviews and agreed to develop a funding agreement for ANAM for 2008-09, to be administered through two six-month funding agreements, the full allocation of which was dependent upon the delivery of a reform agenda. The ANAM Board on 3 October 2008 indicated that it would not fulfil the reform agenda outlined in the terms and conditions of the proposed funding agreement. On 22 October the Minister advised ANAM that Government funding would be provided until 31 December 2008 to allow ANAM to complete its 2008 training program, but that funding would not continue into 2009.

(b)   Three meetings were held, including on: 23 May 2008 - Minister met with representatives of the ANAM Board. 18 August 2008 - Department officials met with representatives of the ANAM Board. 26 September 2008 - Minister, adviser and Departmental official met with representatives of the ANAM Board.

(c)   The following correspondence was sent and received: 18 December 2007 - Department writes to ANAM Managing Director regarding ANAM’s Strategic Plan 2008-10 and Business Plan 2008 and forecast 2008 and 2009 budget deficits. 4 March 2008 - ANAM responds to the Department’s letter of 18 December 2007. 15 April 2008 -Department writes to ANAM further in relation to ANAM’s forecast budget deficits. 6 May 2008 - ANAM Chair writes to the Minister requesting a meeting. 20 June 2008 -Minister writes to the ANAM Chair following their meeting of 23 May 2008 re ANAM’s forecast budget deficit and requests a revised forecast by 15 July 2008. 14 July 2008 - ANAM Chair responds to the Minister’s letter of 20 June 2008 and advises that a revised budget will be provided in the context of its strategic plan. 22 July 2008 - ANAM Chair writes to a Ministerial advisor requesting clarification of Australian Government support of ANAM. 25 August 2008 - Minister writes to ANAM Chair, advising that ANAM’s 2008-09 funding will be administered through two six month funding agreements, the full allocation of which was dependent upon the implementation of a reform agenda and a balanced budget. 1 September 2008 - Department provides ANAM with the first of its two six month funding agreements, consistent with the Minister’s letter of 25 August. 3 September 2008 - ANAM Managing Director writes to the Department concerning the terms and conditions of the first six month funding agreement. 4 September 2008 - Department responds to the Managing Director’s correspondence of 3 September 2008 and notes that both the Minister and the Department had discussed the implementation of review recommendations and concerns with forecast budget deficits with members of the ANAM Executive. 4 September 2008 - ANAM Managing director responds and indicates that the Board will discuss the terms and conditions of the funding agreement at its next meeting. 26 September 2008 - Minister writes to ANAM Chair, following his meeting of 26 September with ANAM Board representatives, to discuss the terms and conditions of the funding agreement and requests that ANAM respond to his letter of 25 August 2008. 3 October 2008 - ANAM Chair writes to the Minister, responding to his letter of 25 August 2008 and indicates that ANAM is unable to implement the reform agenda. 21 October 2008 - ANAM Chair writes to the Minister further to his letter of 3 October. 22 October 2008 - Minister writes to ANAM Chair informing him that Government funding will be provided until 31 December 2008 to allow ANAM to complete its 2008 training program, but that funding will not continue into 2009.

(3)   The Minister met with representatives of the ANAM Board twice to discuss ANAM’s operations, on 23 May 2008 and 26 September 2008.

(4)   On 18 August 2008, Departmental officials met with the ANAM Chair and Managing Director and made it clear that ANAM’s success in implementing the reform agenda in 2008-09 was to be a key consideration in determining future funding. The Minister wrote to the ANAM Board on 25 August advising that funding for 2008-09 was dependant on ANAM successfully implementing a reform agenda. On 26 September the Minister confirmed this approach at his meeting with ANAM Board representatives.

(5)  

(a)   The terms and conditions of ANAM’s 2008-09 funding focused on implementing a reform agenda for ANAM based on the findings of two independent reviews of ANAM, including:

  • Balanced budgets for 2009-11;
  • An amended bursary policy;
  • A plan to diversify income;
  • A commitment to be national leaders in classical music education and initiatives that support that role;
  • A framework for the review of ANAM’s constitution;
  • ANAM Board members to satisfy geographical diversity;
  • A plan for course certification;
  • Continual engagement of a full-time artistic director; and
  • A working alumni database.

   The ANAM Board wrote to the Minister on 3 October 2008 and indicated that ANAM was unable to deliver the reform agenda as outlined in the funding agreement.

(b)   On 22 October 2008, the Minister wrote advising that a six month funding agreement to 31 December 2008 to be put in place to enable ANAM to finalise its 2008 training program, but that funding would not be not available in 2009 for its training program.

   (6)   ANAM is a subsidiary company of the University of Melbourne. The Minister and Departmental staff met with representatives from the University to discuss the future of elite level classical music training in Australia, including ANAM, on 31 October 2008 following the Minister’s letter to ANAM of 22 October.

  

   (7)   (a)   The Minister wrote to ANAM on 25 August 2008 outlining a reform agenda that would need to be implemented as part of the terms and conditions of ANAM’s funding in 2008-09. The Minister stressed that ANAM’s success in implementing the reform agenda in 2008-09 was to be a key consideration in determining any future funding. ANAM was required to provide evidence of the implementation of the reform agenda by 31 October 2008.

   (b)   The Board did not respond to the Minister’s letter of 25 August until asked to by the Minister at a meeting on 26 September 2008. The Board responded on 3 October 2008 and indicated that ANAM was unable to deliver the reform agenda as outlined in the funding agreement.

   (8)   In the context of the two independent reviews of ANAM’s operations undertaken between 2004 and 2006, a number of criticisms from a variety of sources, including students, teachers, orchestra leaders, musicians and the public, were received.

   In a letter to the ANAM Board dated 18 August 2008 and provided subsequently to the Department, a key ANAM staff member expressed concern regarding the management of ANAM and its failure to provide national leadership in the music education sector.