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ABC Orchestras

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dektSSL.12 duty 1992

Shadow Minister for Communications Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives


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There have been many misleading comments about the Coalition's attitude to the Orchestras. W e strongly support their continuation and i have indicated a review of the existing 1989, policy Is required.

Warwic^Smith - * ShadpW Minister for Communications , ·

'The existing policy that relates to the Orchestras is dated 1988. There was an intention to divest the Orchestras back to the States with the exception of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra because as I understand it at the time - and I was not

involved then - the Tasmanian Symphony

Orchestra was undergoing particular problems and it was felt that it would not be possible to maintain the Orchestra if it was passed to the State, so it was exempted from that overall policy." We felt at that time, as we do now, that the continuation of

each State Orchestra was essential.

7 have inherited the policy but a lot of time has passed since then, and perhaps we ought to be looking at other alternatives, *

Review of Policy

•Clearly, what I am signalling is that we believe the 1988 policy has to be revisited. It was based on a different set of facts and data from those now facing me. The structural arrangements would

involve looking at the State option, but it would also involve looking at the Music Australia type option of the Dix Report of 1981, the Tribe Report

and take Into account the Nathan Wax Report.'

•You have to recognise the value of the

Orchestras; that there is a continuing value that needs to be supported and you have to question whether the existing arrangements are conducive to the long· term financial viability of the Orchestras.·

& a s n m i m


"... it is our intention to seek the

continuation of the various State Symphony Orchestras freed from the direct control of the ABC. We will act along the lines o f the Tribe Report (Study into the Future

Development o f Orchestras in Australia, 1985) and on the basis o f data supplied in the 198$ review o f National Broadcasting Policy, to bring about a divestiture o f the orchestras to local ownership, Urgent discussions will be held with the States and capital city Local Governments to effect this transfer with adequate financial assistance being provided by the Commonwealth for transitional arrangements ;*

‘If it w as quite oloor th e S tates did not w a n t th e

Orchestras and you tried to force the issue then you may be doing something that is detrimental to the future of the Orchestras. That ought to be a matter upper most In policy makers minds If the fundamental position is that you want the Orchestras to continue to be successful, to be

relevant and affordable for people to attend.'

7 would want a fairly broad overview so that we come up with a policy that is

sensible for the future o f the Orchestras, given that we support them very strongly and recognise the centrality of their role in Australias cultural life."

Contact: 003 31 4322 BH 003 44 8517 AH