Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
National Press Club -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Western Australia. There is a

high in the bite and another

in the west. A cold front is

moving through South

Australia bringing thundery showers while strong northerlies sweep into Victoria ahead of a trough.

Showers and storms will

extend east into Tasmania and

Victoria today with the cold

Victoria today with the cold

in southern South Australia front. A few easing showers

while showers are clear

fringe WAT capital city

forecasts - Brisbane, Sydney,

Canberra mostly sunny.

Melbourne windy with showers.

How Bart Msly sunny. Adelaide

windy with showers. Perth

possible showers and Darwin

mostly sunny. Arts Minister

Senator George Brandis is mostly sunny. Arts Minister

next on the National Press

Club. Our next full bulletin

is at 7 o'clock this evening.

I am Lisa Millar, have a good


Closed Captions by CSI

This program is not subtitled

Today at the National

Press Club Senator George Today at the National

Brandis the Minister for arts

and sports in a speech titled

who are the new philistines.

He will argue the Howard

Government has been generous

the arts while Labor lacks

any senior figure was a

genuine interest in the area. Senator George Brandis with

today's National Press Club

today's National Press Club

address. Welcome. It is a

pleasure to welcome Senator

George Brandis here today

particularly in lieu of the

sport half of his policy

because we have just here in

the room been able the

announce and present the

European award for journalism

European award for journalism

to the Sun Herald who goes to

Europe under the sponsorship

of the EU to write about

sport. He will go there to

study the economic and

cultural impact of football.

As he said at the time of the

presentation he could see all

the people around the room

saying "I wish I had thought

of that

of that first!" Senator

George Brandis has had an

association with the Liberal

Party almost throughout his

adult life. He is a life

member of the Young Liberals

and that lasts as long as he

does. (Laughs). A barrister

by background before he

entered the Senate in 2000

the Arts and he became Minister for

the Arts and sports in

January and it has turned out

to be quite an active area. Please welcome Senator George Brandis.

APPLAUSE Thank you Ken and

to Morris and Patricia Scott

the secretary of the

department many of

communications. Ron Radford.

communications. Ron Radford.

Cathy Kell and distinguished

guests. On the shore of Lake

Burley Griffin there is

rising what will pump one of

Australia's great public

buildings, the new national

portrait gallery. The gallery

to be opened in December of

next year there complete the

national collection of

institutions in the

parliamentary triangle in the magnificent contrary

building. The national

portrait gallery could almost

serve for a met for for the

Howard Government's contribution to the arts

characterised by a commitment

to uncompromising artistic standards, strong

standards, strong financial

support and accessibility to

the broader public, yet

little remarked and seldom

knowledge $. A stone's throw

away on the second weekend of

October the National Gallery

of Australia will celebrate

its 25th anniversary. In a

year which has seen some of

the most significant

acquisitions of European, Asian, Pacific

Asian, Pacific and Australian

indigenous art the gallery is

about to embarked upon its

first significant expansion

with a construction of a new

wing which will house

Australia's first

purpose-built gallery for the

display of indigenous art T

two most significant public

buildings commissioned in the

lifetime of the Howard Government are both art galleys. Three

galleys. Three weeks after

that on 2 November top Sydney

symphony orchestra will

include its triumphant 75th

anniversary season with a

concert by one of the world's

most famed musicians whose

appointment as chief conduct

for was announced early this

year. Never before has an Australian

Australian orchestra been

under the baton of such a

significant figure. The

largest ever contingent of

Australian contemporary

artists have been drawing

huge crowds and glowing

praise from a highly discerning international arts

public. Next January,

arguably the world's most prestigious art conference the Congress of the

international committee of the Congress of the

the history of art, will hold

its first conference in its

134-year history in the

Southern Hemisphere at the

University of Melbourne. Last

June there opened in Paris

that city's most exciting new

art museum ton banks of the

Seinne. One of the principal

Seinne. One of the principal galleries is dedicated the

the work of Australian

indigenous artists who now

form an integral part of the

culture of Paris. Meanwhile

Australian works indigenous

and non-Indigenous attract

record prices at auction

houses in New York, Paris and

London. Today as we speak the

Edinburgh festival probably

the most significant arts festival in the

festival in the

English-speaking world is

being held under the director

shch a young Australian,

Jonathon Mills. While

Australia's performing arts

companies attract record

domestic audiences their

accomplishments are also

being recognised in the

world's major art capitals,

not as niche curiosity or

one-off celebrities but as a

established part of the one-off celebrities but as a

international repertoire.

Whether it be the Australian

ball Kay's performance of

Grahame Murphy's Swan Lake in

London t Sydney theatre in

New York or the North

American and European tours

of the Australian chamber

orchestra. Australia's

leading performing arts

companies have a established

and acclaimed presence on the

and acclaimed presence on the international stage. Only

this month a relatively little-known ensemble,

Melbourne's Tin Alley string

Quartet took first prize in

Baanf the Queen's orchestra

last July announced one of

Europe's leading maestros as

its chief conductor. Australia

Australia have become

accustomed the the

international renown of Cate

Blanchett, Nicole Kidman,

Russell Crowe, we all know

the names. What we are

perhaps less conscious of is

thees style in which our

other artists both per be

forming and visual artists

and arts companies are held

internationally. Nor, I might

say, are we as

say, are we as conscious as

we should be of the peerless

international reputation of

our directors, sin ma workers

and digital effects

specialists. I relate the

stories of the success of

Australian artists both at

home and abroad the he mind

us all that the artistic

endeavour is one of the

endeavour is one of the thing

which we Australians do best

a fact that is coming

increasingly to be

acknowledged internationally.

Th yet it is a fact still not

as wudly recognised in our

own country as it should be.

So many of yourself styled self-conscious intellectuals

are caught as a country

are caught as a country of

second-rate people whose

artistic standards are to

quote the words of that

greatest mocker of Australian

excellence "Unlearned and

very largely in in formed"

while Donald Horn wrote those

words in 1964 that rather embarrassing view of

Australia still clings to our

cultural debate with

cultural debate with wearying

tenacity. It has its analog

in the refusal of many

Australians to not recognise

our universities. In my first

debate with Labor's shadow

Arts Minister I was told by

one of the leaders of

Sydney's art community a

Whitlam generation icon if

ever there was one "Of course we all known Australians are

a deeply anti-intellectual

people" the shadow minister

did not demur. I do not think

young Australians think of

themselves as - like that.

But the notions cling. But

But the notions cling. But

not all of them. I was

delighted that Peter Costello

in a recent speech listed the creative industries along

with mining, agriculture,

professional services and

tourisms among Australia's

greatest industries. The

rights that in Australia

today the creative arts are

in good shape. As those who

actually work in the arts

sector as

sector as opposed to some in

the sectors unaffected by

such concerns as budgets and

program funding are the first to acknowledge. I was

recently told by the artistic

director of one of

Australia's most prestigious performing arts companies that financial position of

the performing arts in

Australia is, to quote his words "In

words "In come practice bring

better" following the

recommendations of the Nugent

report than it had ever been

bifn his 30ers experience as

an arts administrator. My

experience as the minister

has been overwhelmingly a

positive one, that while

naturally everyone would like

more money in terms of

funding, governance and

artistic standards thing are better than they have been

for a long time. The future

made secure by certainty in

the funding models and strong

financial support from the

Commonwealth. That is of

course a generalisation. I

know that particular arts

companies have issues and

concerns. But it is the

overwhelming sentiment of the

professionals in the sector.

Contrary to the myths

propagated by the left, the

Howard Government has been

very generous the arts. In

the 12 years between the last

Keating budget in 1995 and

the most recent Howard budget

Commonwealth support for the

arts rose in nominal terms

from $410 million to $680

million. An increase of 65.8

per cent, more than twice the the rate of inflation.

the rate of inflation. I do

not propose to bore you with

an endless set of figures but

there is one that stand out

above all. Funding for the

Australia Council which makes

direct arms-length grants to individual artists and

performing arts companies,

has risen from $73 million 12

years ago to $161 million in

this year's budget. An

increase of more than 110 per

cent. I cannot let the

occasion pass by without

making some mention of the Government's recently announced package of support

for the film industry. The

legislation for which finally

passed the Senate only last

night. This package of

measures which replaces parts

10 B and 10 Ba of the income

tax assessment act introduced

by the Fraser Government is

valued at millions. The

remarks of Baz Lurhmann who

described the package as "A

extraordinary result and a

historical moment". Grahame

Bourke the mking Vector

Bourke the mking Vector of

Village Road Show. "Quite

stunning" and Brian Rosen

observed the industry got

everything it wanted. It is

undoubtedly the most

important set of measures to pourt the film industry in

the last quarter century.

Notably, perhaps inevitably,

the opposition was mute in

its response. Why then does

the myth persist? For

undoubtedly it does persist

that the Government has not

been supportive of the arts?

For instance Mr Paul Keating

whom fashionable opinion

remembers as a Medici so

eager was his thus as Tom

give patronage to a number of

wealthy favourites among the

arts community while

struggling young artists went

unrecognised. He recently

emerged from his cave to

opine last July to the Sydney

film school "It is no secret

the arts are having a bad

time not simply in terms of funding which is the thing

most oven discussed but

rather in terms of the growth

and prosperity". I suppose if

you spend 7 and a half years

in a success thing was tend

to get away from you a bit. Mr Keating was obviously

unaware that the Howard Government invest its

two-thirds more again as he

ever did and has more than

doubled the funding of the

Australia Council. That as

any significant arts

administrator will tell you

the arts have never known

such a level of support if

the Commonwealth Government.

But Mr Keating does have a

point - Government support

for the arts has in one important respect dropped

significantly in recent

years. That is the in the

investments in the arts by

state governments. Wherever I

move around the arts sector

throughout Australia the

complaint is the same -

although there is an

unprecedented generous level

of Commonwealth funding,

support by the arts from state governments is in

decline A comparative study

of arts funding by the

different levels of

Government recently published

by the Australia Council

reveals that in New South

Wales in 2007-2008 arts fund

link fall by 19.8 million

dollars or 6.5 per cent.

While in Queensland it will

fall by 53.9 million dollars

or a massive 20.5 per cent.

Victoria will record an

increase of 3 per cent, about

the rate of inflation. Of all

the states and Territories

only Western Australia has

seen a significant increase

in state arts funding. Just

as important as the collapse

in financial support by the

Governments of two of the

three largest states is the

shear discourageing effects

of lack of interest. Morris

Iemma had barely been in the

job for a week when no doubt

eager to engage in product

differentiation from his predecessor Bob Carr he made

a boost of his lack of

interests in the arts, a fact

not lost on the Sydney arts

community but the lack of in

does not stop there. It is

most obviously evidence in

the federal Labor front

bench. For as long as I have

been in the Parliament which

is seven years now interest

among the Federal Labor Party

and arts policy has been basically nonexistent. There

are no Gough Whitlams, Paul

Keatings, Bob Carrs or Barry

Joan ever Joneses on this

front bench nor are there any

any prospect T you know Peter

far yet was the shadow Arts

Minister was asked on the

Sunday program in March this

year to name any of his

colleagues interested in the

arts. This is how the

conversation went. Virginia -

who are the arts advocates in

a Kevin Rudd cabinet? Who

are your arts sporters?

(Gareth - long pause) I think

Lindsay Tanner is someone who

has spoken bit and supports

the arts and there is myself. Kevin has not had a

opportunity in the period of

time he has been opposition

leader to see too much art

and culture but I am

absolutely sure he

will. Virginia - is that it,

that is the list we can come

up with today? (Gareth -

there would be others as

well) How off have Labor

spokesmen raised issues in

Parliament in relation to

this portfolio. For the last

six years the arts portfolio

has been represented by a

Senate minister,

Senate minister, Richard

Aldston, Richard Kemp and

myself. In the last few years

the opposition has asked five

questions about the arts, the

last on 16 June 2005. The

shadow minister Mr Gareth is yet to rise in parliament to

ask a question about the

arts. Last Friday though

after a long, uninterrupted

silence Peter Garrett

released the Labor Party's

arts policy. We should not I

suppose be too harsh on Mr

Gareth for his indifference

to the arts side to his

shadow portfolio he has been

very business can I saving

the planet while at the same

time Jew dish usly attending

the a will lifetime of

passions. Indifferent though

he has been. I want the say

something about the Labor

policy because I think it is

both important and dangerous

but before I do let me make

observation about what I

believe should to be prince

and values which should de

finance the relationship then

Government and the arts and in particular should guide

governments support for the arts. There are

arts. There are five. The

first is simply respect for

what artists do. For role of

artists is sieve liesing and

critical members of our

society. Together with that

is the high value artistic

value places on artistic

freedom especially when it

challenges or confronts

challenges or confronts us.

John Cames was the first

chairman of the arts council

in Britain t institution upon

which our own Australia

council was originally

modelled. In a 1945 essay the

arts council, its policy and

hopes, he captured, albeit in somewhat lush proceeds for

which I hope I may be

forgiven t sentiment of which


I speefnlg at last the public

have recognised the support

and encouragement of the

sieve liesing arts as part of

their duty yfl everyone I

fancy recognises the work of

the artist in all its aspects

is of its nature individual

and free, undisplirngsd unReg

mentioned, uncontrolled. The

artists walk where the breath

of the spirit blows him. He of the spirit blows him. He

cannot be told his direction,

he does not know it himself.

But he leads the rest of us

into fresh pastures and

teaches us to love and enjoy

what we oven begin by

rejecting, enlargeing our

sense till by and purifying

our instincts. The task of an

official body is to not to

teach or censure but to give teach or censure but to give courage, confidence and

opportunity T provision of

opportunity is another of the

core objectives of arts

policy. Not the ostentatious

showering of financial

trophies upon the fash

natural and elect which was

such and owedus hallmark of

the Keating years but the

provision in particular

through the Australia Council

of opportunities for new and

emerging artists. That is why of all the of all the measures announced

in the 2007 budget in the

arts portfolio the greatest arts budget of the Howarders

and arguably the greatest

arts budget ever t one of

which I was most proud was

the provision of very

substantially expanded Commonwealth financial

support to small and

medium-sized arts companies T

main source of new and

developing talent. As I've said

said t funding of the

Australia Council which

provides direct grand the

individual artists and

companies has more than

doubled over the past decade.

Thirdly, while placing a very

high value on the support

which society gives to the

arts it must always be

remembered that money

provided to artist and arts

companies by governments is

taxpayers money. That just taxpayers money. That just

like every other claim on

public resources it has to

make its case and compete in

the budget round. As I have

said t arts budget has done

particularly well during this Government. Nevertheless

members of the arts community

do themselves no favours by

adopting an at towed that

because of what they do they

are above such tawdry

concerns T culture of entitlement

entitlement is no more add

aniable among arts practitioners than other

groups in the community.

There are many of whom we can

immediately think who have

have such an obvious claim

upon society's resources.

Fortunately we hear little of

such attitudes among the arts

community today but I cannot

deny there are some quarters

in which that precious

attitude persists. Fourthly, attitude persists. Fourthly,

simply because the investment

which we make in support of

arts comes largely from the

taxes paid by ordinary

Australian families the

community is entitled to

expect the arts be

accessible. The funding of

our arts companies, in

particular the major

performing arts companies, is

spent ensureing they are able

to main the highest artistic standards standards while keeping

ticket prices within the ordinary reach of ordinary

families. But accessibility

means more than sub say

dieding arts companies the perform in the capital

cities. It also means making

them accessible to people in

regional Australia as well T

Government is proud of

several its initiatives such

as the Playing Australia

program which underwrite the

cost of performing cost of performing companies

undertaking regional tours

and this year alone 40

performing arts company will

receive Playing Australia

funding for 801 performances

in 154 regional cities and

towns while 52 exhibitions

will tour to 194 centres. One sning ever thing which continue to impress and

inspire me is the vibrancy of the

the arts in regional

Australia as any visit to one

of our leading regional

galleries such as Lismore or

Cairns will attest. Fifthly

and finally, although

taxpayers are entitled expect

value for public investment

in the arts it is important

that governments not be

prescriptive. It is not for prescriptive. It is not for

the state to tell a writer

what to write a painter what

to paint, a musician what to

compose or an arts company

what to perform. This is of

course related to the first

value of which I've spoken -

the importance of artistic

predo. And it is her that I

see a very important philosophical difference between the between the Government's

approach to the arts and that

of the Labor Party. Not many

people these days I suppose

have read or perhaps are even

aware of Oscar Wilde aces Yea

The Soul of Man Under

Socialism and you could be

forgiven Oscar Wilde an

unlikely source of

inspiration for the Howard

Government but that sadly

neglected essay neglected essay is a

magnificent indictment of

heavy hand, interfering,

meddle some, hat we might

call today politically

corrected attitudes to those

of the left whose approach

the arts is essentially idea

logical. This is what Wilde

had the say "Her a community

or a powerful section a

community or a Government of community or a Government of

any kind attempts to dictate

the artist hat he ha to do

art either entirely vanishes

or becomes stereotyped or de

generates into a low anding

noble form of craft. A work

of art is the unique result

avenue sneak temperament.

It's beauty come from the

fact that the author is hat

he is. It has nothing to to

with the fact that other

people want what they want.

Art is the most intense moved

Sid list many the world has

ever known" there in lies the difference between the Government and the opposition

when it comes the arts policy. As I've said many

times since I have been the

minister t problem about

parties of the left is that

there attitude to the arts is defined by in defined by in true meant list

many. Hat artists do is not

valued for its own sake. Art

is not seen as a creative

activity justified by the

talent or genius of the

artist alone rather the arts

are seen as a means to some

other end, an appendix to

social policy, a vehicle for

social change a instrument

for political causes a for political causes a

propaganda tool. Art is not

seen as the end in itself.

This is the true fill fine

and the new Labor arts policy

wreaks of it. I to not know

how many of you have read Mr

Gareth's slender document.

Lease do it will not take

long. It is noticeable in

several respects. In the

first place although the document

document make the necessary

refor call suggestion towards

greater support for the arts

it is bare of any commitment

to increase or maintain arts

funding. A document which

contains a chapter, a very

short chapter a page called

Funding Models contains no

costings, targets, costings, targets, financial

commitments whatsoever.

Secondly t document is

strangely silent on a whole

range of core issues. The

most striking of these is the

visual arts W the exception

of a few paragraphs about

indigenous art there is

virtually nothing else about

the entire sector. Although

perhaps predictably there is

a food deal of language about contrary music there contrary music there is

nothing about the major

performing arts companies.

There is but a brief mention

of literature in the context

of indigenous art. There is

nothing about infrastructure.

There is nothing about the

national collecting

institutions, the great

Australian arts schools such

as NIDA, the Australian film,

television and radio school

or the Australian palais

school. There is half a sentence about the Australian sentence about the Australian

national academy of music.

The document addresses but

has virtually anything to say

about the Australian film industry beyond generally

supporting the Government's

film package. But the real

give-away appears on page 6

more than halfway through.

Under the title Supporting

Australian Artist its, where

the policy commits Labor to "Implement

"Implement a program of

mandatory presentation by

major performing companies of

work created by and featuring

young and emerging Australian

artists". There is nothing

wrong with supporting young

and emerging artists. The

Government thanks extensively

new the Australian council

and most of the performing

arts companies do, so do the small the

small the medium-sized arts

companies. What is alarj the

approach the boards reveal,

me sum bring as a condition

of funding the minister or

department intends to direct performing arts companies

what work they will present

or at least prescribe a quota

for categories of such work

this. Is the thing I was

talking about before - an

approach to

approach to art policy which

subordinates the autonomy

any of directors to a gender

of priorities not by them but

by central funding agencies.

Like so much else Mr Peter

Garrett does his arts policy

is all gesture. In some cases

gesture taking the form of

subtle threat and no

substance. Plenty substance. Plenty of

commitment to vibrancy,

creativity and diversity yet

no commitment to the funding

the the sector needs. The

arts in Australia are like

for something more solid in

ex-sure perhaps and assure

answers of good intent them.

Will look in vain to the

shadow minister T lack of

interest which has defined interest which has defined

Labor's view of the art

throughout this part and well

before which is manifested in

the de funding of the art by

so many state Labor

governments lives on in this

remarkably thin arts policy.

Despite the denunciation and

denial of the cultural

warriors of the left, de spit

the attempt of Mr Keating and his dwindling his dwindling band of

admirers the arts is

Australia have prospered just

as has the nation. It should

never been forgotten our

pastie to spend unprecedently

large numbers ton arts as on

socially beneficial acts of

community activity is the

wellbeing the current

government has secured. Were

the depofrt to be re-elected the depofrt to be re-elected

that strong support for tarts

will continue in way sly

outline when I relies the

coalition's arts policy. It

will be, as has been the life

throughout the government, be

based on strong commit tment

sector, respect for artistic

science and funding. That is

what the professionals thin sector has sector has come to expect

from the this Government and

that is what this sector will

mean the achieve we need to

ensure that Australia's

artist are supported, Australia's audiences and

gallery patrons have access

to performing and visual art

of the highest standard and

that Australia self

confidently and not self consciously continues to

enjoy its place as one of the world's

world's most culturally

accomplished nations.

APPLAUSE Thank you,

minister. As usual we have a

period of questions from

media starting with Lincoln

Wright. News Limited -

yesterday the Treasurer gave a very fun answer in Question Time about

Time about Mr Gareth or the

Labor Party's new arts policy

"Let me tell you if you have

to do on welfare, here are

your obligations, you have to

keep a job diary that would

ask you to research 10 job

effort, that may not get in

the way of the next Mona

Lisa" maybe he is right. But

do you

do you think this is a touch

philistine. Peter Costello

will be the Prime Minister if

the Coalition wins at this

year's election L you be the

sole voice articulate on art

in Australia? Lincoln, I

always enjoy Peter Costello

burlesque and he is a great practitioner of it. I practitioner of it. I heard a

tape and read the remarks in

this morning's papers and I

took them to be quite likely

a sat iefr Mr Gareth. You see

the Labor arts policy in the

time available to me does not

permit me to say as much

about it as I could. But page

after page what we Vin the

Labor party's arts policy as I

I said in a generic way in

the speech is a sbosh nation

of arts policy to social

agenda and in the area of the

policy Peter Costello was

making a sat ire a sbosh

nation of arts policy to the

welfare agenda. That is not

the way to go about arts

policy T way to go about arts

policy is to to hook it onto

something else but to, as I said my

said my scripted remarks, to give artists and arts practitioners the respect

they deserve for their

activity in its own right.

That is the very thing the

Gareth document does not do.

In relation to whether under

a Peter Costello Government

if the people were good

enough to reelect the Howard

Government as this election

and there would be a success

section in the life of the section in the life of the ensigning Parliament and Peter Costello were to become

the Prime Minister, based on

the look of the current

cabinet I would be very far

from being a lone voichls

look at people like Helen

coon yafnlt Alexander Downer,

jewelry bishon. Malcolm

Turnbull, people like myself.

North offy one in the cabinet

or the ministry is a lover of

the arts but I tell you what the arts but I tell you what

you will find a lot more in

this gofnt you will find in

the rather thin ranks of the

Labor front bench. Charlie Goodman, University of

Melbourne press. My

university student union has

been forced to cut funding

from arts programs since VSU

leg was passed in 2005, does leg was passed in 2005, does

the decline in resource for

arts on campus concern you and will the Government consider acting to reverse

the Dunn ward trend? If you

are the editor of Ferrgo you

would know I am a very strong

supporter of the issue.

Students like any member of

the community ought to be

able to determine what they spend their own money spend their own money on.

What I can tell you that is

the support the Government

gives to the arts,ty think

small to meal yum sector - I

am not sure the arts company

in your university to which

you refer falls in the

definition the have small

arts funding available to it. The second drift Australians scalp. Council is here,

perhaps you should have a worth to

worth to her afterwards. Toy

not want to fund arts through

the education system, I want

to funds arts through the

arts portfolio. That is the

point. We should accept arts

as a self sufficient

activity, just because it is

not a aspect of university or

USV policy. Eric Jen sore

from the Sydney morning from the Sydney morning

herald. You have spoken a lot

about funding for organisations and

administration but not a lot

for funding out Sid the

council for individuals. Your

Treasurer things artists are

dole bludgers... Do not

verbal the Treasurer, please,

that is not right. He has

been verl-ed enough by

been verl-ed enough by

others! With the Australia

Council handing out a few

thousand dollars her and

there it is hard the fund

individual artists an you

government does not have a

huge commitment espesh any when the man hold tipping

purse strings does not think

they do a lot in the day

apart from filling out their

10-point tiey for Centrelink and

and then going onto to

work. There is a commit. To

individual artists or are you

more interested in the

portrait gallery or the

orchestra? No, straight at

the start. There is a strong

commitment to support for

artist its for a number of

measures run by the council and

and through the department

itself. Some measures of

which are generous. I forget

the program which enables

individual visual artist its

take up residence oversee s

and engain are gauge there

ever their work at the

taxpayers expense in hardship

posts like Rome and posts like Rome and so on on

Australian-Government funded

program. So there is a lot of

support for individual

artists but you have to

distinguish between the

sectors too, don't you?

Naturally visual artists will

be individual artists whereas

musicians are going to be

funded through their orchestras or bands or

whatever so I think you have to -

to - I think the dichotomy

you draw with respect is a

false dichotomy to say we do not support individual

reative people because we

support performing arts

companies of which they are a

influence. Senator,

congratulations.... forgive me for thing but me for thing but I had been

under the impression for the

last 11 and a half years that

the arts and the arts elites

had been number one on the

Coalition's hit list. Do you

apee with the prop stick the

Prime Minister came to

possible well represent Dr

Inglesis that the Keating

Government did not represent

or opposing anything

Government recommended and Government recommended and one of those thing was the

arts and the so-called arts

elite. So does your speech

represent a turning point in

has the Howard Government declared culture wars are

over and it is time to

embrace the artists an the

arts elite. Secondly, I would

like you to describe the

nature of the Prime

Minister's passion for the

arts? Does they engage arts? Does they engage you

in conversation about the

arts? What area is he

interested in. He does not

seem to say those things

public so I would like to

know what he says in

private. Thank you, Jason,

and congratulations on your engagement and imminent

posting. To take your first

question first - the cultural wars are never wars are never over. For as

long as there is the view of

some people who regard the

values of the collective as

superior to the values of personal freedom t culture

wars, which are a

manifestation of the broader

idea logical doe bait that

our Liberal philosophy will

never be over so long may

they live but I think you they live but I think you not

characteriseing the Prime

Minister well in 196 because

what he is at war is, is not

the arts but a particular

attitude evidence which is

precious and exclusive. I

remember this debate at Peter

Garrett at the University of

Sydney five months ago. It

was an audience of was an audience of 95 per

cent in sympathy with Peter

Garrett. When I made the

observation the arts ought

not to be an elitest

preoccupation, they ought to

be an elite occupation in a

sense they were devoted to

excellence but not an elitest

occupation in the sense of an

exclusive population many

jeered at the thought they

were not elite. They were most

most put out to be thought

not to be a precious elite. That exclusiveness is hat the

Prime Minister has been talk

Bick all along. In relation

the Prime Minister's passion

to the arts may I tell you

the Prime Minister is

passionate about one

particular art form of all

and that is literature. The

Prime Minister is one of the

most widely read men I

most widely read men I ever

have met. Senator thank you for coming dachl I was

interested particularly in

your comments around the role of Government not being to

direct artists what to

proceed tu.s I wondered in

the context of the exposes

every year in relation to every year in relation to various arts works being a

waste of month thanny where

you draw the line, things

being left as lost objects

around the streets of

Melbourne are worthwhile uses

of taxpayers money I cannot let the opportunity go

without referring the last

week's events on the liberal leadership front. To what

extent do you think it was a missed opportunity for the Government to

Government to to remember new

and refresh its leadership by

installing Peter Costello in

the top job now? To deal

with the first question first

and I will take my choice to

answer a direct question. It is impossible to answer the

question in the abstract,

where do you draw the line

about categories of art. I

think the right question if I may say so

may say so with respect is

who draws the line and by

what precess. The answer to

that question in relation to

most arts funding in the

Government is the Australia

council at an arm's length

process that ensures in a

technical and expert sense

considerations of artistic

merit are the only cry tear kron against kron against which these

decisions are may. The second

question dish think the

Government turned the corner

last week because there was

the Liberal Party always had

a problem of vul near billty

the an attack from the Labor

Party "Well, you can't tell

us what the future holds of holds if the Prime Minister

does not tell us what his

plans are" the Prime Minister

on Wednesday made his announcement about announcement about what his

plans would be in the next

parliamentary term were the

Government to be re-elected

and I think that cleared the

air and in clearing the air

it changed the dynamic so now

we to go the next election where people have a very

clear-sided idea about what

the new Parliament will look

like. There will either be a Kevin Rudd Government run by

a man who is very clever, can

speak under wet

speak under wet cement in two

languages but does not seem

the stand for anything but a

Government led by John Howard

with a transition plan in

place, so the latter part of

the Government Peter Costello

the most experienced man in

the Government other than the

Prime Minister and the most successful Treasurer the

country has ever known. I am

very come for table with very come for table with

that. Glen Milne from news

limited and the Australian.

Two questions - the first is

that the election default

setting of the arts committee

is to campaign against the

Coalition. And that is

despite the funding commit amounts that you have

outlined today and the commitment of the Government

generally to the arts. I put

it to you in that context that -

that - and especially in the

light of the remark thanks

you quoted, that really the

arts community sees itself

more or less as cipher for

issues like the Iraq war,

climate change, et al, rather

than mould knowledge its

political stances to

questions of arts funding.

And that given the artistic

community sees itself as community sees itself as

being ahead of society in

terms you mentioned about

Oscar Wilde and acting as a

crit of society that an idea

of a conservative arts lobby

is actually an oxymoron. Can

you confirm it is true you

are a Midnight Oil fan but

only for the music not the

lyrics? I know where that one came

one came from, Glen. No, in

not a Midnight Oil fan and I

think the lyrics are

jibberish. They rise to the

level that Mr Peter Garrett

has risen in his

consideration of public

policy. As to the first

question, I just dot not

accept the premise. Obviously

there are large elements of

the arts community whose the arts community whose

political home is on the left

but a lot of these people are self-described arts

community. You know, there

has been remarkable support

for the Government if the

people who actually run the arts companies. As I said

before, the people who are

concerned with things like

budgets, working out what

program gets put on in two or

three years time. The people three years time. The people

actually have to do the

business of presenting

excellent performing art or

visual art to Australia are

the very people who the -

from whom the Government

finds a very sympathetic ear

but there will be individuals

and there is usually an

inverse relationship between

the volubility and the self

definition of a person as an definition of a person as an

artist and their artistic

merit, not unknown in other

walks of life. As for Oscar

Wilde, he was a conservative

in his politics as were so

many people of like Hilaire

Beloc, they swam against the

tide of the 80s and 90s just

as others have swum against as others have swum against

the tide in other generations

too. An arts and sports

question. Just than the arts,

you spoke about how much more

money has gone in the the

arts over the last 11 and a

half years I think you said two-thirds more than during

the Keating years. Do you

expect - $610 million versus

$440 million. Do you expect the arts community the arts community when we

get to the election campaign

period do you expect to see

more arts people on the Labor

side of things or Coalition,

I am talking about campaigns

when we see arts people on

the street? Do you think

there will be some response

in that respect? On the

sports side I have been

interested in how arts and

sports oven get into the same

portfolio, I am not sure

about the connection, perhaps

it is something about French it is something about French soccer players diving in

sporting games but on the sporting side of things do

you think enough has been

done about drugs in sports I

think about joey jns recently

and how our national heros

are tied up in so much these

things? In relation to the

first question, it is a free

country. People involved in

the arts community can he

vote, advocate and say what

they like. That is where they like. That is where the

Liberal party exists to pee

serve liberal democracy. I

would to venture a prediction

as to I would not be in a

position to tell you which

way the voting sentiment of

members of the arts community

breaks but I will make one

prediction - that if a person

bes up and says "Aim prominent member of the arts

community and I hate the

Government" they will get

more coverage from a more coverage from a ABC

rather than someone saying "I

love John Howard he is so

cool" - perhaps not actually

now that I think about it! As

to the question of trution in

sport - I am very pleased the

Government, particularly

myself and Christopher pine have raised the profile of

this issue. We have not been

behind the game on this. We

went to see the AFL on 25 went to see the AFL on 25

May, we had what the Prime Minister subsequently

described as a dust-up with

them. We have since met with

all the other major national

sporting organisations, they

have shown a spirit of great

cooperation. The people who

are the - for whom this

business of drugs in sport is

the biggest problem are the

sportsmen and the sports

admin traitors and the clubs

and the national sporting organisations themselves. organisations themselves.

They are the one Tasmania want to protect their reputation and do something

about it. As you may know I have asked the Australian

sports antidoping Hort to to

prepare an options paper for me which is due on Friday and

I think you can expect to see some announcements in

relation to the Government's

position shortly there after.

Laurie Wilson, freelance

journalist director of the National Press Club. National Press Club. You may

not get that accolade for

John Howard but on Summer

Heights High, and that is

through the ABC but there was

a me men trisense of warmth

when you alluded to Western

Australia doing well in terms

of state funding, that states

headed by a former member of

our profession but that was

momentary because at least two states or a Territory two states or a Territory

headed by members of our

profession have not done so

well. Where the areas - at

the risk of giving you a

complete free kick - where

are the areas you think the

state should spend money? I

know there have been redoeses

but is it in capital

expenditure, funding of

produceses? What are the

thins you think the states

need to be do in that they

are not doing apart from

giving more money? In the

interests of balance you

might like to tell us about

the good things Mr Carr pen

her's government has done.

MrCarpenter's Government has supported the Western

Australian symphony or

questions travel. Each state

is different. There are

capital funding issues in

some, there are program fund

ing issues in others. What we

find though is the

Commonwealth offers matching

funding through various programs, some run through

the Australia council, some

through the portfolio of

other agencies. Sometimes the

states will come to the party

and sometimes they won't.

That is the problem. I don't

think it is possible to do

justice to your question

without taking you through

figures exhaustively but it

is more of a problem in some

states in relation to

capital, capital considerses

are matter for the State

Government and the physical

infrastructure of the arnts

some states is woeful but

farce the interface between

the Commonwealth and the

states it is more of an issue

of reluctance, not all, to

match program

funding. Minister, we oven

have school groups at these

lunches. We have one here

from Queensland. They have

nominated Ned Hunter to ask

you a question on their

behalf. We are 300

kilometres north-west of

Brisbane. For mend my fellow

classmates opportunities to

explore and art and culture

among many other aspects of

life and leg are guy a far

between, what ways can we get

more access to our national

treasures? Secondly,

imperfect forming a speech in

a national competition

entitled "Australia should be

recognised in 2020 as" I

write about Australia's worth

- how do you think eshould

measure our worth t import of

caviar, the distance of roads

or characteristics of a

person, something more

deeper? Congratulations on

being chosen to represent

your school in the speaking competition. Of course it

should be on deeper

characteristics. That is why

the arts is so important

because we need the material

things, we need the roads and bridges and we need the

services, we need the

hospitals and schools but we

also need the arts as well

because the arts are at their

best - and I've talked a lot

in this speech about the

pursuit of excellence - tell

us about ourselves, help us

to define ourselves to

ourselves, help us to define

our country to ourselves and

help to lift our spirits and

make us noble T the second

question - how can you get

more access to the nation's

treasure? This is the problem. You are familiar I

am sure with proceed

percentor Blayney's

description of the history of

Australia as being all about

the tyranny of distance and

I've been to your area many

times, I represent you in the

Commonwealth Parliament so

hello, welcome! (Laughs). It

is a way away but the

Commonwealth does invest a

lot of money in regional

touring by both performing

arts companies and by

exhibitions as well. As I

said to you before we have

one program playing in

Australia which means that

154 regional centres, I do

not know if Nanago is one,

will be visited by a

significant performing arts

company this year. They are

loss-making enterprises so it

is very heavily subsidised by

the taxpayer but so it should

be. Visual arts exhibition

this year, the Commonwealth

will pay for them to tour to

194 regional centres. Again I

do not know if Nango is one,

I will check! Thank you.

Lincoln Wright. One last

question. I want to ask you

a sports question an area of

concern to me and a lot of

Chinese people in Australia

about Fallon Gong and the

allegations which many people

think are unproven that the

Chinese Government is

harvesting organs from the

prisoners there and two

Canadians I am sure you are

aware of Mr David Kilgore and

David Matas have issued a

60-page report recently. I

was wondering hat would be

the attitude the Australian

Government to the Chinese Olympics and our

participation if it was

proven the Chinese Government

is harvesting organs from

these prisoners? The

Australian Government does

not make a link between the

two issues and your question

is based upon a hypothesis. I

saw the report on the '7.30

Report' a few months ago but

there is no issue about Australia's participation in

the Beijing Olympics being

reconsidered in view of the

considerations which you have

raised which were they true

of course would be very grave

but there are other ways the address those address those matters and

Australia does in bilateral and international forums. Thank you minister.

Closed Captions by CSI

Jenny Kee has dazzled the fashion world

with her exotic colours and designs, every bit as distinctive as her Chinese-Italian-Australian heritage. Her edgy, creative career has been paralleled by a turbulent personal life which only now is seeing her emerge after years of seclusion. This week's Talking Head is Jenny Kee. THEME MUSIC