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Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Page: 31

Senator LUDWIG (Minister for Human Services) (3:45 PM) —I seek leave to make a short statement.

Senator Coonan —One minute.

Senator LUDWIG —I am not sure I can do it in one minute.

Leave granted.

Senator LUDWIG —The government opposes the motion. The government does remain committed to providing ongoing support for elite-level classical music training. On 18 November 2008, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts announced that Australian government funding of up to $2.5 million annually would be provided for a revitalised elite-level classical music performance and training centre operating in conjunction with the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of the VCA and Music. The new centre will retain the Australian National Academy of Music name, in order to build on the significant artistic achievements of ANAM in recent years, and will commence training in July 2009.

The government is keen to ensure continuity of training is provided in the interim. Therefore, additional funding of $0.5 million to boost performance training during the transition to the new program was announced on 28 November. In addition, a working group comprised of representatives of ANAM, the University of Melbourne and the Australian government has been established to oversee a smooth transition. The university has appointed a planning advisory board comprised of leading international authorities on elite music training to develop a truly world-class training program. The training will provide flexibility for a broad range of orchestral roles, including concert master and orchestra section principal, and will include accredited and non-accredited training individually tailored to meet the needs of students.

The university is working to individually tailored training options for each student during the transition period. As at 27 November, more than half of the 2008 ANAM intake has approached the university regarding their training options for 2009. The government believes that the revitalised Australian Academy of Music will deliver a comprehensive, elite-level professional performance training program that responds flexibly to the training needs of our most talented young musicians and connects strongly to the orchestra and Australian classical music sector.

Question agreed to.