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Classical music goes silent after Garrett bungles.



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Tue, 18th November 2008 CLASSICAL MUSIC GOES SILENT AFTER GARRETT BUNGLES

Mr Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors, Tourism and the Arts

Questions have to be asked about the process behind the decision to axe funding for the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in favour of Labor’s university teaching model announced today, Shadow Arts Minister Steven Ciobo said.

“Today’s announcement by Arts Minister Peter Garrett that ANAM will be replaced by the Australian Institute of Classical Music, operating under the auspices of the University of Melbourne is the latest chapter in bungled Labor decisions that have ended one of Australia’s centres of excellence and left students’ futures in limbo,” Mr Ciobo said.

“Questions have to be asked about the process behind Minister Garrett’s decision making, and what relationship exists between the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Glyn Davis, and Peter Garrett and the Prime Minister.

“Minister Garrett has left the staff and students of ANAM in the lurch throughout this bungled process, not informing them of his plans and, certainly, not acting in good faith on his decision to axe ANAM.

“Labor has completely failed to highlight how its proposal is any more efficient as a training model for classical music students. Labor needs to justify its decision to disrupt the study of some of Australia’s best upcoming classical musicians in their internationally recognised training.

“Minister Garrett’s idea is half baked - there are no details about the facilities in which students will work out of, when the teaching model will be up and running or how the model will even work.

“Is this going to have the same kind of immersion training as ANAM or simply provide students with an avenue to get their masters?

“ANAM is all about artistic vision, one-on-one professional training, and elite programmes that provide real immersion for students.

“ANAM’s classical music students must be guaranteed they have a place to learn come February next year, not July next year, or we risk losing them to overseas music academies.

“Why all of a sudden the rush to transfer funds to the University of Melbourne? We need to know more about Labor’s relationship with them.”