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Friday, 1 May 1987
Page: 2478

(Question No. 5081)

Mr MacKellar asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 18 February 1987:

(1) Does the Australia Council annual report for 1985-86 show at page 115 that the Council's Visual Arts Board made a grant of $10,000 to the Movement Against Uranium Mining for public sculpture by Anthony Pryor for the Doncaster and Templestowe Civic Centre and Arts Complex.

(2) Does the annual report show at page 122 that the Council made a Council Program grant of $14,000 to the Doncaster Templestowe Movement Against Uranium Mining for the commissioning of a peace sculpture.

(3) Are the two grantees one and the same organisation.

(4) Is the public sculpture by Anthony Pryor referred to at page 115 the same peace sculpture referred to at page 122; if so, why was financial support for this project divided into 2 grants from different areas of the Australia Council.

Mr Cohen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Yes.

(3) Yes.

(4) Yes, they are the same sculpture. The Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council approved a grant of $10,000 in October 1985 to the Movement Against Uranium Mining for a public sculpture for the Doncaster and Templestowe Civic Centre and Arts Complex. This amount was approved from Council's appropriation.

When the Visual Arts Board assessed the application it considered the project to be very worthwhile but its Public Art Program only provided for a maximum of $10,000 for this type of project.

Subject to eligibility criteria applicants are eligible to apply to the Council under any number of programs of assistance relevant to their artform. In 1986 the Council received a special allocation of $210,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs for grants for arts activities to mark the International Year of Peace. This was a one-off program of assistance and funding for the sculpture by the Visual Arts Board did not invalidate the group's eligibility for seeking additional funds from this source.

When the Australia Council assessed the group's application under the International Year of Peace program it sought the advice of the Visual Arts Board. The Council was therefore aware of the initial grant provided by the Visual Arts Board. On the basis of a favourable recommendation the Council decided on 12 March 1986, to provide a further grant of $14,000 under the International Year of Peace grants category.

Both the Visual Arts Board and the Council were advised of the significance of the project by letters of support from local organisations. The Doncaster and Templestowe Council contributed an estimated $10,000 in kind including the site for the sculpture, installation and unveiling costs.