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Orchestras at risk - leaked report.



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Senator Kim Carr

Labor Senator for Victoria Shadow Minister for Public Administration and Open Government, Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and the Arts

11/03/05

Orchestras at risk - leaked report

The Coalition's ineffective arts policy is set to claim three more victims, the symphony orchestras of Tasmania, Queensland and South Australia.

This is the second major arts funding crisis to be revealed inside just three months.

First it was the Australia Council scrambling to save money by decimating national community cultural development programs and abolishing its innovative New Media Board.

Now it is the turn of orchestras.

The Government's own premier arts funding agency, the Australia Council, said in an internal report that:

This arts funding crisis stems from the Minister's insistence on an "unsustainable funding model", in which an artificially low level of indexation has imposed structural financial problems on many arts organisations.

It is reported in The Australian that a paper to be handed to Arts Minister Rod Kemp today recommends sacking 39 musicians, leaving a $3 million redundancy bill.

If Minister Kemp accepts these recommendations he will severely compromise the future of the three great cultural institutions. The state orchestras will be unable to perform key works unless they take on casuals.

The surgical reduction in the number of high class professional musicians in many states will also slash access to advanced music training for local students and create a vicious cycle of decline.

Minister Kemp's cost cutting fervour has undermined arts organisations across the nation

The answer to the Government's unsustainable funding for the arts is not random and destructive cuts but a more effective, sustainable funding model.

Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922, Catriona Jackson, 0417 142 238. Electorate Office: 62 Lygon St CARLTON SOUTH 3053 Ph: 03 9639 2798 Fax: 03 9639 3109

Canberra Office: Parliament house CANBERRA ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3730 Fax: 02 6277 5911 Email: senator.carr@aph.gov.au Toll Free Number: 1800 673 169