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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 1652


Senator RYAN —Yesterday Senator Reynolds asked me a question regarding the Government's intentions for the South Pacific Festival of the Arts in 1988. The Government considers it would be appropriate for Australia to make a formal offer to host the 1988 South Pacific Festival of the Arts. However, Australia will remain sensitive to the interests of Pacific states on the location of the 1988 festival. At this stage it is envisaged that Australia will make a bid at the Pacific Council of the Arts meeting in December 1984.

A small working party has been established, chaired by Mr Chicka Dixon, Chairman of the Aboriginal Arts Board, and it includes representatives of the Department of Home Affairs and Environment and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. The working party will be assessing likely costs and locations this month with a view to reporting to the Government. I understand that the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council has designated the Aboriginal Artists Agency as the organising body for Australia's participation in the 1984 festival in Noumea. The Australian program has been developed in consultation with the festival organisers. A large contingent of Aboriginal and Islander people will be attending the festival to represent both the traditional and contemporary forms of Aboriginal and Islander arts from all over Australia. Questions of detail as to who will be part of that membership should be directed to the Aboriginal Arts Board.