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Thursday, 31 May 1984
Page: 2232


Senator MARTIN —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment aware of reports that the withdrawal from funds from the Australian Dance Theatre by the Victorian Labor Government has led to extreme financial difficulty for that excellent dance group? Is the Minister aware that a similar withdrawal by the Victorian Government of its share of subsidy for the Australian Opera will have a serious effect on the finances of the Opera in 1984 ? Will the Government tell the Victorian Government to stop bludging on taxpayers from other States and to make its proper contribution to the promotion of performances by these two leading Australian companies?


Senator RYAN —I have no information from the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment on the matter of the two companies that Senator Martin refers to, so I cannot confirm her claims that funds have been withdrawn. I will refer the matter to the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment for comment. All I can say is that with many of the major performing arts companies now, the responsibility for public funding is shared between State and Federal agencies. I think that is a situation which we all accept as being proper, so it is up to the two partners to work out between themselves what the appropriate source of public subsidy from each partner is to be. I will see whether the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment can give us any further information about these two companies.