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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6404

Mr CIOBO (10:22 AM) —My question is to the minister. It covers a number of areas but is particularly with respect to the Arts portfolio. The most important question that I would like the minister to answer today is with respect to the future of the Australian National Academy of Music: whether or not ANAM will continue, given the 12-month moratorium that was put in place by the minister; how its funding is expected to continue; the minister’s view as to the model; whether or not it will in fact be auspiced under the University of Melbourne; where we stand with respect to those students that are participating in ANAM’s program; and whether or not those students will be required to undertake a tertiary degree component as part of their studies.

It is very clear from the students that I have spoken with, and from representations both by the board and from outside ANAM, that the vast bulk of students are of the view that they would not necessarily like to undertake traditional bachelors or masters tertiary studies. So an update from the minister—not only for me but for those that have been left in limbo for so very long as a result of the complete inertia by the Rudd Labor government—about our elite training institution of ANAM would be most welcome. Particularly, I ask the minister about any conversations that he had specifically with respect to ANAM with the Prime Minister or any of the Prime Minister’s staff in the PMO about what should happen with ANAM prior to the minister writing to the board of ANAM. To be very particular about that, my question to the minister is: did he have any conversations with the Prime Minister or any of the Prime Minister’s staff specifically with respect to the future of ANAM prior to releasing the letter to the board about putting ANAM and the funding of ANAM on hold and moving it across to the University of Melbourne?