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Why 'revitalise' what is already so vital? Students bring music to Parliament.

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� � Christine Milne

$XVWUDOLDQ�6HQDWH Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

media release

Canberra, Tuesday 28 November 2008

Why 'revitalise' what is already so vital? Students bring music to Parliament The Government is in damage control over the ill-advised decision to close the Australian National Academy of Music, and the Prime Minister must immediately step in to impose at least a 12 month moratorium on the decision, the Australian Greens said today.

In answering a question from Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Arts Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, Senator Wong once again denigrated the Academy by telling the students and staff present in the gallery that the world-class institution needed to be "revitalised".

“Anyone who has heard the wonderful music echoing through the corridors of Parliament today will understand that there is nothing about these students that needs to be revitalised,” Senator Milne said.

“These young performers are already so full of life, and, thanks to the superb level of tuition from the Academy, so brilliantly able to convey their vigour and joy through their music!

“There is very little time left to reverse this ridiculous decision to close down an institution which is producing musicians so admired on the world stage. By next week, so many of the staff and students will have made their own alternative arrangements - many of them overseas - that it will be too late.

“The Government has completely failed to give any reason why the Academy cannot run its 2009 program, giving its students the excellent standard of tuition they have come to expect, while any discussions about the future continue. Why disadvantage the students and faculty so much for no reason?"

A motion jointly moved by Senator Milne and Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson today passed with the numbers of the two parties.

The motion noted the expressions of support for the Academy from around the world and the lack of appropriate arrangements for the students and faculty for next year, and called on the Government to acknowledge its mistake and immediately impose a 12 month moratorium on the decision.

“The broad cross-party support for the Academy demonstrates how wrong this decision is.

“There is no reason why the Academy cannot be kept open for at least 12 months, be funded to run its excellent planned program for 2009, while its long term future is secured.

“Minister Garrett must be aware that he has already very effectively alienated the classical music community! If he refuses to back down, that community will make sure that he pays a political price."