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Increased funding to flow to Australia's opera and ballet orchestras.

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Increased funding to flow to Australia’s opera and ballet orchestras

The Australian Government is to provide ongoing additional funding to the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria, to consolidate the development and growth that is taking place inside these two important Australian cultural organisations.

The Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator George Brandis, says the upgraded funding would support improvements in the two orchestras’ artistic standards and their governance and financial sustainability.

“It is important that Australian Government support for the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria is ongoing so that their artistic performances and operational strength continue to grow,” Senator Brandis said.

“The Government conducted an examination of these two orchestras in 2005-06 and this ongoing increased funding is part of a strategic plan to assist these two orchestras onto a more sustainable footing.

“Moving the funding for these two orchestras onto an ongoing footing signals the Australian Government’s commitment to our specialist opera and ballet orchestras, and to our national opera and ballet companies.”

An original funding package of $10.6 million over four years was announced in the Australian Government’s 2006-07 Budget, subject to evaluation in 2009-10. However, as part of the 2007-08 Budget the Government has agreed to provide ongoing funding to

these two orchestras, with a review of the level of funding to be undertaken on a triennial basis.

The funding will support specific initiatives including: $7.2 million over four years for Opera Australia to improve the financial viability and governance arrangements of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra; additional funding of $1.8 million over four years to Orchestra Victoria for specific initiatives to enhance artistic standards; and $1.6 million over four

years to Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet to improve the management of occupational health and safety issues for musicians.

Media contact: Travis Bell 0448 950 248 8 October 2007 124/07

Document ID: 75119 | Last modified: 9 October 2007, 5:35pm

Senator the Hon. George Brandis S.C. MINISTER FOR THE ARTS AND SPORT