Ask the Candidates

The NSW state election is on Saturday March 23
NSW government through Create NSW is an important part of arts and culture in the state. We decided we would ask the candidates about their policies and platforms for arts and culture. The NSW government is Southern Tablelands Arts largest funder through Create NSW and the primary funder of arts and cultural activity and a major contributor to cultural infrastructure in NSW.

We contacted all candidates (that we could find contact details for) in the Southern Tablelands region which included the electorates of Cootamundra, Goulburn, Monaro and Wollondilly. We asked candidates to articulate their/ their party’s policies on arts and culture.

We are not advocating for one party or candidate over another but we are aiming to provide you with information to provide informed choices by presenting what arts platforms have been developed and letting these policies speak for themselves.  We understand that electors will be considering their vote based on a range of issues. We are not attempting to represent anything other than the candidates’ position on arts and culture.

We believe that arts and cultural activity is essential to the fabric of regional NSW and we will continue to work with the NSW government to extend arts and cultural practice and to advocate for regional arts in NSW.

Susan Conroy, Executive Director

Southern Tablelands Arts

We Asked our local candidates some questions about arts and culture.  You can read their responses below.  Listed by electorate and candidate in alphabetical order.

Cootamundra Electorate

Mark Douglas
Country Labor
Response: Provided link to Labor’s arts policy
Links: Labor Arts Policy document

Goulburn Electorate

RICHARD ORCHARD: ONE NATION CANDIDATE FOR GOULBURN

1. What do you consider to be the key priorities facing the creative sector in the region?

1) Increasing participation in the local production, performance, and consumption of art;

2) Increasing the skills of artists and performers;

3) Supporting and encouraging community groups currently involved in the arts;

4) Encouraging community building through local group involvement in the arts.

5) Calculating the Cost Benefit Analysis of supporting local arts monetarily vs the wider community outcomes.*

*I am convinced that direct economic and monetary measures are poor indicators of the value of cultural pursuits in the community – it’s the community development, personal growth, and fostering friendships and combating loneliness (for example) that are the true indicators of success. Most community organisations run on a shoestring, and supporting them is small money in comparison to the health, inclusion, and quality of life benefits individuals and communities gain from participation.

2. Cultural infrastructure is the facilities and resources within the facilities to enable creatives and the community to make, present, exhibit and showcase their work. Cultural infrastructure may be region-wide or localised to support the small towns and villages and includes buildings, learning facilities, outdoor spaces and venues, technology and equipment. The over-subscription of applications to the NSW Regional Cultural Fund 2018 we believe shows that rural regional communities across the region recognise the value of arts and culture in our communities and that there is a significant need to invest in and/or modernise existing cultural infrastructure for creative and community purposes. How will you and your Party address this issue?

These responses are all me as candidate, my Party has no specific policies regarding LOCAL arts, and I will contribute to our thoughts on this. One Nation definitely has a policy about not giving so much funding to elite, Sydney based arts organisations that could fend for themselves, and diverting that money to local economic development. Local volunteer based arts, the tourism and other activity that comes as a result of it – all are excellent business cases for rediverting some of that money to local organisations.

1) Continuing to actively support the Goulburn Performing Arts Centre throughout its construction.

2) Continuing to be a member and supporter of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium, and to champion its needs to Government.

3) Representing the need for cultural grants to volunteer based, community arts groups.

3. Studies emphasise that the arts stimulate job creation, tourism, attract visitors and investment and diversify the traditional focus on agribusiness and service industries. Research provided by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment in 2013 on creative industries showed that the Southern Tablelands region shares with the Northern Rivers the third highest rate of creative industries in the state. If elected, how will you and your Party assist in furthering development of the creative industries in the next term of NSW Parliament for this region?

* Listening to concrete proposals for support, advocating for groups and communities for assistance as it occurs.

4. The following questions relate to Arts & Cultural Development priorities as set by NSW Government and include:

  • people living and/or working in regional NSW
  • Aboriginal people;
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;
  • people with disability;
  • young people.

 

  • What is your party’s policy and commitment to representing and supporting arts and cultural development in rural regional NSW?
  • How will your party’s arts and cultural policy support Aboriginal artists, creatives and communities in rural regional NSW?
  • How will your party’s arts and cultural policy address commitments to supporting artists and creatives of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in rural regional NSW?
  • What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for young people in rural regional NSW?
  • What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for artists, creatives and members of our communities living with a disability in rural regional NSW?

Note: I’m answering these as one.

I am representing the Goulburn State Electorate, a rural/regional electorate. By and large the demography is English speaking background, white Australians, very friendly and tolerant of all members of society (regardless of ethnic, linguistic, aboriginality, age/youth, or ability). The arts are a wonderful rallying point to bring the whole community together, and integrate all members of the community. Arts are largely delivered by private individuals, larger pieces of cultural infrastructure (eg the Performing Arts Centre and the Conservatorium, and the Goulburn Regional Gallery), churches and religious organisations, community groups (eg the Lieder Theatre in Goulburn).

Performers and artists are very often youth, and people of advanced age. People in the middle of life (with mortgages and families) are often the most under represented participants. Let us also be sure- no politician knows all the answers (no matter what they say). Listening to and supporting proposals for support from community players is the key to successful outcomes. I, for instance, am a musician. I will seek out the advice and proposals of the actors, painters, woodworkers etc for supporting them. Developing a good network and contact database, and then keeping a scan for available grants both State and Federal, and working with the Federal Member to ensure grant applications are written, collected, and championed is the way I intend to operate.

Rather than having an overarching list of prescriptions, I intend to:

1) Work with community organisations to promote and support them in the delivery of their activities, particularly when those activities contribute to the wider social benefits of the arts. Anything that brings a lot of people together, promotes friendship, reduces isolation and loneliness either already has me as a supporter and participant, or has my ear. Whatever grants we can get from Government, or whatever supporting we can agitate for is money well spent, and will have my interest and support.

2) Work with councils to promote community groups and support them how best they need it.

3) Work with community trusts who operate community halls to ensure any grants that are available are known about and applied for to keep the infrastructure in excellent condition.

4) Gather needs by all community groups (including multicultural, aboriginal, youth, aged, disabled people – everyone has my equal commitment to representation) for support in whatever form, and represent those needs.

5) Be a local Arts Patron and Champion – including supporting of facebook and website development as an e-hub for the arts in the region.

5. Can you provide examples of three arts events, programs or activities you have attended in the Hilltops/Goulburn/ Monaro/Wollondilly electorate. Please comment on how you believe each event/activity/program contributed to the social and cultural life of the community.

In the past year or so I have participated as a singer and actor in the following things:

1) Concert – Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion, Goulburn, as tenor Chorister.

2) Concert – Bach’s Weinachts Oratorium as baritone soloist and tenor chorister, Goulburn.

3) Musical “Getting there” – Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company Goulburn

4) Musical “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie” – showing March 8th – cast member and baritone anchor

5)Musical – “Jopseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” – Pharoah of Egypt.

5) Private concerts – participating in concerts of great music as vocalist for groups of diverse friends to promote friendship and inclusion.

6) Participation and leaderhip of a men’s choir

7) Weekly participation in the St Saviour’s Cathedral Choir in Goulburn.

8) Concert – Remembrance Day commemoration.

9) Goulburn and Nowra Eisteddfods as competitor.

In all these activities, we are striving for friendship and inclusion. The musicals concentrate on the development of children and young people, and the inclusion of “working age” folks into a world they are often a rarity from. Men’s choir was all about friendship and inclusion. Cathedral choir is about preservation of cultural tradition, making often very old music to live anew, and making friends and including people. Concerts are about musical excellence, showcasing local instrumental musicians and singers, and creating some really world class, spectacular music and a feast for the eyes.

Local leadership of these activities by me and others HAS covered inclusion of all age groups, youth, aged, middle aged, men, women, some of us of language diverse backgrounds, and at least one young person with a “disability” (some aspergers syndrome – however to me she has always been a loyal, intelligent, devoted gem of an individual so I hardly see her as having a disability, she’s wonderful).

6. Do you have any other comments on arts and culture you would like to make?

Music and film in particular have become very poor quality, of very narrow and repetitive form, elite and inaccessible by ordinary people, and very lacking on skills at a local level. I work every day to fix music – encouraging the performance of truly beautiful, well crafted pieces and leading people to perform them with skill. All good local stuff, and there’s a real movement. The more people we get singing and playing, and the less we concentrate on dumbed down drivel, the more we revive and promote our culture.

I am also particularly keen on film, including local film makers, and local journalism and news/documentary making, and looking at ways of rationalising the funding of really fat elite organisations, and transferring some support to local and emerging writers and film makers where there will be real hungry and lean operations creating great content at minimal expense. The culture of this nation is all about LOCAL, and all about communication of stories about us, or by us – ordinary Australians in all our glorious forms.

URSULA STEPHENS: LABOR CANDIDATE FOR GOULBURN

THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTIONS RELATING TO ARTS AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE REGION.

Labor has recently announced a comprehensive Arts and Creative Industries policy, and I am delighted that

included in that policy is a focus on investing in arts and cultural pursuits in regional NSW.

 The key features of that policy include:

  • Doubling the Regional Cultural Fund to $200 million to provide funding for staffing and developing

programs, recommended by the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Museums and Galleries.

  • Scrapping the current government’s billion-dollar relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to

Parramatta, and instead spending $50 million on a PowerHouse Museum upgrade at its current site.

  • Investing in a $500 million world-class cultural institution in Sydney’s west.
  • Establishing a $100 million Western Sydney Cultural Fund.
  • Continuing the redevelopment of Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre.
  • Creating a $40 million Regional Conservatorium of Music Fund to support local students access

music education

  • Supporting independent theatre and playwriting through a $15 million support package.
  • Expanding programs in Western Sydney, rural and regional areas including the Sydney Festival’s

children’s program.

  • Doubling funding for public libraries in country towns, and indexing this funding to the CPI.
  • Supporting live music with funds to assist with sound proofing venues, and developing a music

development hub that would co-locate the Music Development Office, contemporary music

organisations and businesses, rehearsal and performance space, community radio, writing and

recording studios and a youth venue.

  • Improving the funding arrangements for film, television and video production.
  • Ensuring that artists are paid fairly
  1. What do you consider to be the key priorities facing the creative sector in the region?

There is a wonderful diversity of creative talent across the electorate of Goulburn. I believe one of the key priorities is being able to showcase both the depth and breadth of that talent to the wider community, in new and interesting ways. This requires investment in developing new talent and Labor’s commitment to double the Regional Cultural Fund will be an opportunity for artists to access financial support to pursue their creative endeavours.

We need to nurture and support emerging artists and this can only be achieved by providing funding to

commission new works, encouraging writers to find their voice, promoting new performances, and extending access to cultural activities and performances into our regions, schools and community groups.

We need to acknowledge that the existing cultural infrastructure and facilities in our communities need to be maintained and managed by people! So, the investment in physical infrastructure must be accompanied by funds to manage that infrastructure.

We need to ensure that our artistic and cultural investments recognise diversity within our communities and pay attention to cultural traditions and pursuits

2. Cultural infrastructure is the facilities and resources within the facilities to enable creatives and the community to make, present, exhibit and showcase their work. Cultural infrastructure may be region-wide or localised to support the small towns and villages and includes buildings, learning facilities, outdoor spaces and venues, technology and equipment. The over-subscription of applications to the NSW Regional Cultural Fund 2018 we believe shows that rural regional communities across the region recognise the value of arts and culture in our communities and that there is a significant need to invest in and/or modernise existing cultural infrastructure for creative and community purposes. How will you and your Party address this issue?

Labor has committed to doubling the Regional Cultural Fund to $200m in recognition that there has been almost no increase in the fund in the last eight years. We want to invest in Create NSW in a meaningful way and will convene the sector and local government to develop a Strategy for the Arts in regional NSW within six months of a Labor government.

I was particularly delighted as the former Chair of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board, that the

Association was successful in its advocacy for increased funding to the 18 -member Regional Conservatorium network, with the announcement of a $40m Regional Conservatorium Fund to support and expand he work of our regional conservatoriums and provide more opportunities for children in our region to receive the benefits of musical education.

We need strong advocates for the arts and arts education in our Parliament.

3. Studies emphasise that the arts stimulate job creation, tourism, attract visitors and investment and diversify the traditional focus on agribusiness and service industries. Research provided by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment in 2013 on creative industries showed that the Southern Tablelands region shares with the Northern Rivers the third highest rate of creative industries in the state. If elected, how will you and your Party assist in furthering development of the creative industries in the next term of NSW Parliament for this region?

 It is really exciting to know this! Labor will be working with existing organisations including STARTS, local artists, festivals, arts organisations, business chambers, councils, theatre companies to promote the opportunities and potential of creative industries in the region. We have excellent locations for film and video productions, magnificent heritage resources and a diverse range of artists to draw into a conversation and strategy about building this capacity and investment. As your local member, I would intend to convene an industry roundtable for the region to work through the opportunities for developing a stronger creative industry in our part of NSW.

 4. The following questions relate to Arts & Cultural Development priorities as set by NSW Government and include:

  • people living and/or working in regional NSW
  • Aboriginal people;
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;
  • people with disability;
  • young people.

a. What is your party’s policy and commitment to representing and supporting arts and cultural development in rural regional NSW?

Labor is the political party that supports and promotes inclusion. We encourage diversity in all

endeavours . We have a Labor for the Arts movement within NSW Labor that ensures we support creative sector initiatives which promote diversity, social inclusion and cultural participation, not only from those of different backgrounds but people over the age of 65, people with a disability and people from regional and western NSW.

b. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy support Aboriginal artists, creatives and communities in rural regional NSW?

Labor recognises that the regions have been neglected for too long. Our comprehensive policy highlights our intention to reverse that, and to ensure that we also invest in infrastructure to establish performance and rehearsal spaces for first Peoples arts companies. We value indigenous languages and cultural pursuits and will support Elders forums which will include teaching, supporting, nurturing and promoting Aboriginal culture.

c. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy address commitments to supporting artists and creatives of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in rural regional NSW?

Community life in rural and regional NSW is enriched by the many cultural groups that have made NSW home. Labor celebrates the contribution of those from diverse backgrounds and is committed to supporting community language teachers, as well as supporting a range of multicultural celebrations and festivals.

d. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for young people in rural regional NSW?

We recognise the importance of access to music and creative participation for young people and are encouraging young artists through a range of initiatives including 600,000 free TAFE places for vocational training in specific industries, including digital media. This is all the more important given the statistics quoted by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, and the opportunity we have to grow the creative industry in the region.

With our federal Labor counterparts, Labor has always been committed to encouraging the creative endeavours of young people, providing access and exposure to cultural events and performances and supporting emerging artists and creative practitioners.

e. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for artists, creatives and members of our communities living with a disability in rural regional NSW?

Labor’s view is to focus on the strengths and assets of artists and creatives, as well as community members, to encourage their participation and access to cultural and artistic pursuits in meaningful ways. The NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014, outlines the responsibility of government and communities to support opportunities to improve the levels of participation for community members living with disability and their carers. This includes those who want to pursue artistic and creative endeavours. Accessibility is one of the key barrier is to active engagement, and our review of planning legislation and monitoring of the Disability Access Legislation in local government facilities and transport options is fundamental to ensuring that the intent of the NDIS to improve participation in community life is not undermined.

5. Can you provide examples of three arts events, programs or activities you have attended in the Hilltops/Goulburn/ Monaro/Wollondilly electorate. Please comment on how you believe each event/activity/program contributed to the social and cultural life of the community.

 I have attended many many arts and cultural events in the Goulburn electorate – ranging from the early Teachers College days of Madrigal Dinners and theatrical productions, to performances and performing at events at the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium, adjudicating speeches and performances at Eisteddfods, Lieder Theatre productions, Arts Shows, Multicultural and music festivals; as a member of Community Plus Board I am currently engaged through the Festival of Learning and the Community College a range of artistic activities including paining and mosaic classes, dancing for well-being and community choirs, orchestral performances and much more!

I am convinced of the value of a rich tapestry of events and experiences to social and community life.

6. Do you have any other comments on arts and culture you would like to make?

I am concerned about the NSW government’s attacks on live music venues ,and believe strongly that we need to continue to encourage participation in a range of live music events and genres. In regional communities we must create more opportunities for young people to access live music in non-licenced venues, and to have flexibility in new venue liquor licences.

ANDREW WOOD: SHOOTERS, FISHERS AND FARMERS FOR GOULBURN

1. What do you consider to be the key priorities facing the creative sector in the region?

As in many other aspects of life in rural communities, we feel it’s an imperative that rural artists have the same access to arts and  arts events funding as those people in Sydney. We also believe that young artists in all disciplines should be effectively and equally serviced by government departments and units to allow them to develop their skills in their own communities. Thereby this will allow them to be able to remain in regional NSW and not be forced to move to Sydney to follow their careers.

2. Cultural infrastructure is the facilities and resources within the facilities to enable creatives and the community to make, present, exhibit and showcase their work. Cultural infrastructure may be region-wide or localised to support the small towns and villages and includes buildings, learning facilities, outdoor spaces and venues, technology and equipment. The over-subscription of applications to the NSW Regional Cultural Fund 2018 we believe shows that rural regional communities across the region recognise the value of arts and culture in our communities and that there is a significant need to invest in and/or modernise existing cultural infrastructure for creative and community purposes. How will you and your Party address this issue?

The Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party have identified a distinct lack of funding in regional areas in every area of society and this includes the arts. The Goulburn electorate has particularly suffered from this because there’s been the perception that Goulburn was a safe seat. With a change in this perception and a candidate who is part of the arts community (I’m a musician and a high school music teacher) we’ll be spearheading new funding and focus for local artists so that money is invested in infrastructure to support existing artists and develop and encourage young, talented artists within their own communities.

3. Studies emphasise that the arts stimulate job creation, tourism, attract visitors and investment and diversify the traditional focus on agribusiness and service industries. Research provided by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment in 2013 on creative industries showed that the Southern Tablelands region shares with the Northern Rivers the third highest rate of creative industries in the state. If elected, how will you and your Party assist in furthering development of the creative industries in the next term of NSW Parliament for this region?

The Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party have a direct strategy to make sure that local communities receive the funding and support from the state government that until now have primarily been awarded to city programs. Events like the Goulburn Australian Blues Festival, which has suffered from under-funding for many years, will be prioritised in order to draw visitors and artists into the area and contribute valuable into to local businesses and communities.

4. The following questions relate to Arts & Cultural Development priorities as set by NSW Government and include:

  • people living and/or working in regional NSW
  • Aboriginal people;
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;
  • people with disability;
  • young people.

 a. What is your party’s policy and commitment to representing and supporting arts and cultural development in rural regional NSW?

Currently we are striving to bring funding back to rural communities in all aspects and as we move forward we look forward to consulting with regional groups and stakeholders to encourage this growth.

b. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy support Aboriginal artists, creatives and communities in rural regional NSW?

 Indigenous artists are well represented in communities throughout rural NSW and we seek to assist them in developing facilities and programs to encourage their crucial contribution to Australia’s arts community.

c. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy address commitments to supporting artists and creatives of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in rural regional NSW?

Australia is a multicultural nation and those cultures are important aspects of rural NSW. Through arts programs we will work with artists and groups to encourage people from varied backgrounds to continue developing their gifts in the regions in which they live.

d. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for young people in rural regional NSW?

Currently there is a divide between those things offered for gifted young people in Sydney and those who live in rural centres. The Shooters, Farmers & Fishers Party intend to fight to have programs implemented in rural centres that are accessible to regional youth so that they can enjoy the same opportunities as students in Sydney. Currently most of those programs are based in Sydney and the frustration of young people in rural areas is palpable on occasion.

e. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for artists, creatives and members of our communities living with a disability in rural regional NSW?

The arts provide a unique outlet for those people living with disabilities and the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party, having a unique rural focus, are aware of the need to assist those living with disability in our communities. By addressing all services to those with disabilities and fighting for arts funding we aim to expand opportunities for those members of our rural communities.

5. Can you provide examples of three arts events, programs or activities you have attended in the Hilltops/Goulburn/ Monaro/Wollondilly electorate. Please comment on how you believe each event/activity/program contributed to the social and cultural life of the community.

“Getting There” – Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company – this musical spoke to the experience of people living in regional NSW and the writer, Chris Gordon, adapted the songs of Australian singer song writer Pat Drummond to further focus the plight of people in rural NSW.

2019 Goulburn Australian Blues Music Festival – This is a crucial festival held every year in Goulburn which both avails locals the opportunity of see some of the best musicians in Australia, but also provides young local musicians the chance to perform and collaborate with very experienced performers. Sadly, funding for this event is drastically poor.

2018 Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Student Concerts – The GRC provides unique opportunities to young and older local music students and allows the community to view the development of our youth through this invaluable regular concert series.

 6. Do you have any other comments on arts and culture you would like to make?

I am, by training, experience and vocation, most experienced in music. But at Mulwaree High School I work alongside art, dance and drama teachers who work tirelessly to provide opportunities for youth in Goulburn and the region. I’ve been musical director and leading cast member in the Goulburn Musical Society and the Argyle Society and I am a founding member of the Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company. I’m also the worship music leader at the Sunday 5:30pm service of St Nicholas Anglican, North Goulburn, as well as gigging with rock bands for charitable and other events. I understand and see the shortcomings of arts funding in regional NSW from the inside and I see the massive efforts of those involved to overcome the shortcomings. The Shooters, Farmers & Fishers Party has a rural and regional focus unparalleled by any other party at present and I will personally fight to see funding appointed to our region as it deserves this support.

MONARO ELECTORATE

MICK HOLTON SHOOTERS, FISHERS AND FARMERS FOR GOULBURN

1. What do you consider to be the key priorities facing the creative sector in the region?

I believe that rural areas miss out when it comes to a range of opportunity. There is a trend to remove local influence from communities and steer the ship with city centric influence. The Shooters Fishers and Farmers party policies support this view.  Council amalgamations is one such example.

As we all know, the Arts is a broad church and is often overlooked as being a low priority by government. But I believe that it is creativity from all persons (rural and city based) that can be the commonality that strengthens the connection between city and the bush. Regional influence in the creative sectors has been strong in the past and needs on-going support.

The key priority is recognition of the value that regional people bring to the creative sector.

2. Cultural infrastructure is the facilities and resources within the facilities to enable creatives and the community to make, present, exhibit and showcase their work. Cultural infrastructure may be region-wide or localised to support the small towns and villages and includes buildings, learning facilities, outdoor spaces and venues, technology and equipment. The over-subscription of applications to the NSW Regional Cultural Fund 2018 we believe shows that rural regional communities across the region recognise the value of arts and culture in our communities and that there is a significant need to invest in and/or modernise existing cultural infrastructure for creative and community purposes. How will you and your Party address this issue?

I believe that cultural infrastructure is often supported by government for the wrong reasons. The Shooters Fishers and Farmers party see economic value is a viable driver of development in this area.

3. Studies emphasise that the arts stimulate job creation, tourism, attract visitors and investment and diversify the traditional focus on agribusiness and service industries. Research provided by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment in 2013 on creative industries showed that the Southern Tablelands region shares with the Northern Rivers the third highest rate of creative industries in the state. If elected, how will you and your Party assist in furthering development of the creative industries in the next term of NSW Parliament for this region?

I will do everything in my power to ensure that the smallest of communities are not overlooked in the creative industries space.

4. The following questions relate to Arts & Cultural Development priorities as set by NSW Government and include:

  • people living and/or working in regional NSW
  • Aboriginal people;
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;
  • people with disability;
  • young people.

a. What is your party’s policy and commitment to representing and supporting arts and cultural development in rural regional NSW?

Ensuring that ALL communities are provided with support, opportunity and a voice. Many small towns are dying, they often get overlooked by NSW government. Attracting people to these communities is strongly connected to cultural development priorities.

b. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy support Aboriginal artists, creatives and communities in rural regional NSW?

Indigenous Australians are not treated well in all sectors, in fact our society tends to window dress this problem without actually taking a real stance. One of my own personal ambitions is to see Indigenous Australians controlling our National Parks, the spin off from this type of approach could lead to improved land management and cultural awareness and integration.

Since white man came here, we have forced Indigenous Australians to become like us, lets turn that around.

c. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy address commitments to supporting artists and creatives of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in rural regional NSW?

 A strong focus upon re-engagement with the bush.

d. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for young people in rural regional NSW?

Recognition that young people have a lot to offer, getting behind “Youth Action”.

e. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for artists, creatives and members of our communities living with a disability in rural regional NSW?

Diversity is strength and expression is everything. Strong, yet balanced approach to make this sector sustainable.

5. Can you provide examples of three arts events, programs or activities you have attended in the Hilltops/Goulburn/ Monaro/Wollondilly electorate. Please comment on how you believe each event/activity/program contributed to the social and cultural life of the community.

http://lakelightsculpture.com.au – Encourages ALL persons to get creative.

A number of smaller community events with a bush connection such as Mountain Musters. These are events that target people who are normally confined to a nursing home or hostel. They include a tour of some high-country areas (normally locked), BBQ, storytelling, poetry and bush ballads – Encourages creativity and expression in the later years.

6. Do you have any other comments on arts and culture you would like to make?

Always willing to learn more about this sector and how I can become engaged. Thanks for the opportunity.

WOLLONDILLY ELECTORATE

JO-ANN DAVIDSON: COUNTRY LABOR FOR WOLLONDILLY

KEY PRIORITIES:

The broad intentions of our policy in this space are threefold:

  • To encourage and support all artists and creative people, in all fields of artistic endeavour.
  • To facilitate the appreciation and involvement of the general community in art and cultural activities.
  • But with a focus of our support on regional and rural communities so as to redress the current imbalance which favours central Sydney.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

NSW Labor’s policies are dictated by its official Platform Document which is revised every year at its State Conference. The most recent (2017-18) document, with amendments from its 2018 Conference, sets out aspirations and principles to guide its policy directions in this important area. I will address most of these further down, but here I will outline what Labor has announced as a range of specific policies to revitalise our cultural infrastructure and promote our creative industries.

Please note that these are all firm commitments Labor is taking to the 2019 election:

  • Doubling of the Regional Cultural Fund to $200 million. Labor will also allow this increase to provide funding for staffing and developing programs, recommended by the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Museums and Galleries.
  • Scrapping of the current government’s billion-dollar relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, and instead spending $50 million on a PowerHouse Museum upgrade at its current site.
  • Building of a $500 million world-class cultural institution in Sydney’s west – funding would come from the $650 million already budgeted for the PowerHouse Museum’s relocation.
  •  Establishment of a $100 million Western Sydney Cultural Fund.
  • Continuing the redevelopment of Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre.
  • Allocation of $40 million for a Regional Conservatorium of Music Fund.
  • Institutions such as the Wollongong Conservatorium (The Con) will be eligible for funding to support local students.
  • $15 million for a theatre and playwriting support package to support independent theatre and Australian stories.
  • Expanded programs in Western Sydney, rural and regional areas including the Sydney Festival’s children’s program.
  • Better funding for public libraries in country towns, with proper indexing of
  • this funding to the CPI.
  • Much increased support for live music. Initiatives include:
  • $1.2 million to assist live music venues with soundproofing.
  • Introduction of new live music venue liquor licences in a bid to prevent “unreasonable complainants from holding venues to ransom”.
  • Creation of a “one-stop shop” for venues and residents to deal with noise complaints.
  • An independent census of live venues every two years for the purpose of reporting industry statistics, such as the number of venues, number of performances, number of working musicians and number of hospitality workers.
  • Formation of a music development hub that would co-locate the Music
  • Development Office, contemporary music organisations and businesses, rehearsal and performance space, community radio, writing and recording studios and a youth venue.
  • Developing and releasing a Plan for Contemporary Music within 100 days of being elected.
  • $3 million towards restoring the historic Victoria Theatre in Newcastle.
  • Within six months of forming government, Labor will work with stakeholders to develop a Strategy for the Arts in Rural and Regional NSW through Create NSW.

NSW ARTS AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES:

a) Rural and regional:

As can be seen from the above list of initiatives, a large part of Labor’s Arts Policy is to

promote cultural and artistic activities and opportunities outside of Sydney. Sydney is

already catered for by a wide variety of infrastructure, venues and events, while the

regions and rural precincts have been left largely to their own devices. Labor’s Arts’

policies seek to redress this imbalance.

b) Aboriginal:

As befitting the party which legislated the Racial Discrimination Act (1975), enacted land

rights legislation (Mabo and the Native Title Act (1993)), and initiated the apology to the

stolen generations (2007), it is not surprising that the current official policy platform

document of NSW labor (2017-18) states:

  • Item 7.37: “NSW Labor recognises the importance of Aboriginal heritage and culture including art, language, dance and music to the long-term health and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities and will seek opportunities to support cultural activities.”
  • Item 7.39: “recognises that language is central to indigenous culture’s oral tradition”
  • Item 7.40: “supports legislation protecting and reviving NSW Aboriginal languages.”
  • Item 7.41: proposes formalising of “Elders Forums whose terms of reference include teaching, supporting, nurturing and promoting Aboriginal culture.”

A recommendation to the most recent Labor State Conference (Recommendation Item 21- and given a “recommended” status) states:

  • “A NSW Labor Government will invest in infrastructure to establish performance and rehearsal spaces for First Peoples’ arts companies.”

c) Culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: Creative people from diverse cultural backgrounds can be assured of Labor’s support. Such support for culturally and linguistically different social groups is not a lip-service idea, it is mandated in Labor’s policy platform.

Item 2.30: Supports the teaching of community languages from early primary school.

Item 2.33: “provide assistance to culturally and linguistically diverse groups for cultural activities.”

I would respectfully argue, relevent to this point, that Labor’s credentials as a promoter of multicultural harmony are quite impressive.

d) Young people in rural & regional NSW.

Specific policies addressed to young people in regional NSW have yet to be announced, although they have been foreshadowed by submissions to the most recent (2018) State Conference, which have been given a “recommended” status:

“[To] establish a program to provide financial assistance to young artists committed to building a career as a professional artist or a creative practitioner working in community arts or cultural development.” and further:

“[To] re-evaluate the current curriculum to include mandatory arts classes (dance/ music/drama/visual arts) at primary and secondary levels (up to year 10). ” and further:

“[To] allocate funds to ensure that all public schools in NSW have a functional performing arts space, reflective of the needs and size of the school.”

e) People with disabilities.

Disabled people will have equal access to all of Labor’s Art Policy initiatives:

  • NSW Labor’s policy platform item 4.55 states: “NSW Labor supports equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities. People with disabilities must have equal access to education, training and employment.”
  • A sub-group within Labor, “Labor for the Arts”, was able to successfully move motions at the previous NSW Labor State Conference supporting screen and creative sector initiatives which promote diversity, social inclusion and cultural participation, not only from those of different backgrounds but people over the age of 65, people with a disability and people from regional and western NSW.

MY PARTICIPATION IN THE ARTS IN OUR REGION.

  • I have attended the Illuminarte Art festival conducted by Wollondilly Council. I believe that this particular event could be greatly improved, as art and cultural activities are not given sufficient prominence.
  • I have attended the Aboriginal festival conducted by the Tharawal Aboriginal Cooperative.
  • I am a participant as an exhibitor in the Thirlmere Festival of Steam. This is an annual event which is very useful to promote the area’s touristic potential, and I would like to encourage local artists to be given a more prominent role.

OTHER COMMENTS.

I would like to close by mentioning that NSW Labor’s Arts Policy is very much in the spirit of Federal Labor’s policies in this area. The arts community will well know that it was Labor who established many of the main cultural institutions in this country, particularly during the Whitlam years: The Australia Council (1972), the National Gallery of Australia (1973), the Australian Film and Television School (1973), FM radio licences (1974), the Australian Heritage Commission (1975) and the Australian Film Commission (1975). Also Labor has good taste in oils. Gough Whitlam bought Blue Poles. How good is that! Not to mention that Peter Garrett fronted the Oils before joining the Labor Party.

Seriously though, whichever way you look at it, Labor’s Arts Policy is a good fit for people in the arts and cultural communities, and indeed for all Australians.

JUDITH HANNAN: INDEPENDENT FOR WOLLONDILLY

1. What do you consider to be the key priorities facing the creative sector in the region?

I know that the creative sector need spaces. Spaces that either designed for purpose or adapted for reuse. I also believe recognition of the social and economic value of the sector is poor.

2. Cultural infrastructure is the facilities and resources within the facilities to enable creatives and the community to make, present, exhibit and showcase their work. Cultural infrastructure may be region-wide or localised to support the small towns and villages and includes buildings, learning facilities, outdoor spaces and venues, technology and equipment. The over-subscription of applications to the NSW Regional Cultural Fund 2018 we believe shows that rural regional communities across the region recognise the value of arts and culture in our communities and that there is a significant need to invest in and/or modernise existing cultural infrastructure for creative and community purposes. How will you and your Party address this issue?

I do not have a party but as an independent have the ability to work with either major party to advocate strongly for the scarce resources that are devoted to our cultural infrastructure.

I was shown a comic strip with a safe with the door open and nothing inside. It had the word safe written on it. Next to the safe was a treasure chest brimming with treasures and the word marginal above it. I think making us more marginal can achieve that investment that we deserve.

3. Studies emphasise that the arts stimulate job creation, tourism, attract visitors and investment and diversify the traditional focus on agribusiness and service industries. Research provided by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment in 2013 on creative industries showed that the Southern Tablelands region shares with the Northern Rivers the third highest rate of creative industries in the state. If elected, how will you and your Party assist in furthering development of the creative industries in the next term of NSW Parliament for this region?

I know how much stimulation, attraction of visitors, job creation and investment comes from investing in creative areas. Sometimes it just needs political will power to assist. One only has to look at the art and garden trail that was run in Wollondilly last year to see how it can accomplish this. Besides all the economic and tourism advantages creative industries make both the participant and the observer have some enjoyment.

4. The following questions relate to Arts & Cultural Development priorities as set by NSW Government and include:

  • people living and/or working in regional NSW
  • Aboriginal people;
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;
  • people with disability;
  • young people.

a. What is your party’s policy and commitment to representing and supporting arts and cultural development in rural regional NSW?

As an independent in a regional area I will promote this development. I am also keen to staff my office with a person to search for grants and help write submissions for my community.

b. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy support Aboriginal artists, creatives and communities in rural regional NSW?

The first thing I want to do is to preserve the indigenous artworks we have in places such as WARRAGAMBA under threat from the raising of the dam wall and inundated flooding. It would be great to see some promotion of some local indigenous artists.

c. How will your party’s arts and cultural policy address commitments to supporting artists and creatives of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in rural regional NSW?

I will support all of my local artists no matter where they come from.

d. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for young people in rural regional NSW?

This is one of the most important areas for our cultural industries to be involved in. I would like to bring some courses into the area for the talented young people in our area.

e. What is your party’s policy for arts and culture for artists, creatives and members of our communities living with a disability in rural regional NSW?

Again, I will support any artist in my community no matter their ability or disability.

5. Can you provide examples of three arts events, programs or activities you have attended in the Hilltops/Goulburn/ Monaro/Wollondilly electorate. Please comment on how you believe each event/activity/program contributed to the social and cultural life of the community.

Attendance at the Wollondilly art show in the shire hall. In fact I have judged some of the shows and opened some. Many if the paintings depicted local scenes, flora and fauna. It bought people together to enjoy a small but lovely local art exhibition.

At the Bradman Museum I attended the opening of the Kabila to Kohil exhibition with the unveiling of a portrait of Sachin Tendulkar This was a museum exhibition about sport but also told the associated history stories. While I was there I met people from India touring Australia

Attendance at the local school children’s art work for NAIDOC week. This was a chance for our school children to try their talent but also to learn about our indigenous cultures.

Illuminate festival lantern creation and parade A great fun event combining art works and a huge community celebration.

6. Do you have any other comments on arts and culture you would like to make?

Thank you for helping us keep our creative industry and creative enjoyments in the political arena for that is where it needs to be recognised.

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We would like to Thank all the candidates who took the time to respond to our short survey and we hope this helps to draw attention to the arts in higher government areas.  We did also receive a letter from Minister Don Harwin outlining the policies currently in place. Edit: 20/3/19 Don Harwin has announced the Liberal Party Policy on Arts Hub this morning click here for information.  

List of those contacted below.

  1. Mark Douglass – Labor – Cootamundra
  2. James Saleam – Ind – Cootamundra
  3. Matthew Stadtmiller – Shooters Fishers – Cootamundra
  4. Steph Cooke – Nat’s – Cootamundra
  5. Ursula Stephens – Labor – Goulburn
  6. Wendy Tuckerman – Liberals – Goulburn
  7. Andrew Wood – Shooters Fishers – Goulburn
  8. Michael Holton – Shooters Fishers – Monaro
  9. Bryce Wilson – Labor – Monaro
  10. John Barilaro – Nat’s – Monaro
  11. Jason Bolwell – Shooters Fishers – Wollondilly
  12. Judith Hannan – Ind – Wollondilly (Has already returned the survey)
  13. Nathaniel Smith – Liberals – Wollondilly
  14. Jeffrey Passlow – Greens – Cootamundra electorate
  15. Peter Marshall – Greens – Monaro Electorate
  16. Francis Seymour – Animal Justice – Monaro Electorate
  17. Jo- Ann Davidson – Country Labor – Wollondilly Electorate
  18. Heather Edwards – Animal Justice – Wollondilly Electorate

 

One thought on “Ask the Candidates

  1. Meave Ramsay

    Thank you so much for compiling this information. It is very helpful in deciding how to allocate my vote.

    Reply

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