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, 24 June 2003
Page: 17403


Mr Gibbons asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Arts and Sport, upon notice, on 13 May 2003:

(1) Is the Minister aware that the Bendigo Gospel Festival Inc, the organisation that conducted the 2002 Bendigo Gospel Music Festival, has been placed in voluntary liquidation.

(2) Is the Minister aware that the 2002 Bendigo Gospel Music Festival, which was conducted from 26-28 April 2002, resulted in a substantial loss, with creditors owed more than $90,000.

(3) Is the Minister aware that the 2002 Bendigo Gospel Music Festival received a grant of $18,180 in the 13th grant round of the Festivals Australia Programme in October 2001.

(4) Is the Minister aware that the people behind this incorporated association had conducted two previous private events in Bendigo that also ran at a loss.

(5) What accountability processes are in place to protect the misuse of public monies.


Mr McGauran (Minister for Science) —The Minister for the Arts and Sport has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) and (2) The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, which administers Festivals Australia received unsolicited information on 16 September which indicated that there were financial problems with the Festival and it had a shortfall of $72,404. This loss on the whole festival was confirmed in the information provided by the festival director as part of the acquittal process for the project.

(3) Festivals Australia provides funding to assist in the presentation of specific arts and cultural activities within regional and community festivals. It does not provide funding for entire festivals. In this instance, the funding was provided towards the costs associated with staging the Australian Massed Gospel Choir event.

(4) Applicants are required to complete a detailed application form, which includes the provision of a financial statement and evidence of incorporation. Evidence of community support is also sought to assist the Festivals Australia committee in making their recommendations. In this instance, letters of support were received from local businesses, service organisations and the Tourism and Events section of the Greater Bendigo City Council. This information included references to the success of the previous festival. As part of the assessment process, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts also sought comments from Arts Victoria. In this instance no specific comments were provided.

(5) All grant recipients are required to provide an acquittal report which includes information on attendances, media coverage and a financial report demonstrating that the funding was used for the purposes specified in the application. The project acquittal provided by the festival director indicates that the funding allocated to the Australian Massed Gospel Choir project was spent in accordance with the Deed of Agreement between the Commonwealth and Bendigo Gospel Festival Inc.