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Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Page: 4159

Senator WONG (Minister for Climate Change and Water) (3:04 PM) —Yesterday in question time Senator Macdonald asked me a question in my capacity as Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. I am happy to provide the following additional information. I am advised that the Australian government through the Australia Council has provided the Quinkan and Region Cultural Centre a total of $305,306 in project grants and strategic initiatives funding for the Laura Aboriginal Dance and Cultural Festival from 2005 through to 2010. The Australia Council has advised that for 2008-10 it has a three-year funding agreement with the QRCC to provide $205,306 to the Laura dance festival through the Celebrations initiative administered by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board. The Australia Council has advised that the QRCC has recently withdrawn as the auspicing body to the festival, and consequently has not provided an invoice for payment of the 2009 grant.

Senator Ian Macdonald —So they got nothing.

Senator WONG —The Australia Council is assisting the Laura dance festival in securing an alternative sourcing arrangement. Senator Macdonald, I suggest you listen, as you might want to hear the rest of the answer. QRCC previously received project funding of $50,000 in 2006-07 for the dance festival through the Indigenous Culture Support program.

Senator Ian Macdonald —Yes, under the coalition government.

Senator WONG —Be careful about interjecting before the answer is concluded, Senator Macdonald. The ICS program is an Australian government program administered by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. I am advised that the QRCC has not since applied for funding through the ICS program.