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CULTURE AND THE ARTS—AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC

Senator Milne, also on behalf of Senator Ronaldson, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 314—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the extraordinary expressions of support from around the world for the excellent standard of tuition offered by the Australian National Academy of Music,

  (ii) that the Government, having said that the academy must be closed down, has now appropriated its name and reputation for its replacement institution, undermining any credibility in the Government's claims that the new institution would be a `better alternative' than the existing academy,

  (iii) that, as of 1 December 2008, there are still no appropriate transitional arrangements in place for the students from the academy whose plans for 2009 have been destroyed, and

  (iv) the extreme distress of some of our most outstanding young musicians, who have no idea what they will do in 2009 or where they will be sent, having already missed the audition deadlines for the great majority of other music schools; and

 (b) calls on the Government to:

  (i) acknowledge its mistake, and

  (ii) immediately impose a 12-month moratorium on the closure of the Australian National Academy of Music with a view to continuing the excellent standards of the academy while undertaking a proper consultation process in 2009 of ways to implement the findings of the two independent reviews which both recommended expansion and increased funding for the academy.

Statement by leave: The Minister for Human Services (Senator Ludwig), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.