MULTICULTURAL ARTS ALLIANCE
The Hon. J. M. SAMIOS:
My question is directed to the Treasurer, representing the Premier, and Minister for the Arts. Is the Minister aware that the Multicultural Arts Alliance - a community-based non-profit membership organisation for artists, art workers and community groups, that has been serving the cultural needs of our multicultural society since 1988 - has called for an urgent
parliamentary inquiry to investigate the Carr Government’s approach to multicultural arts and is demanding answers as to why last week the Ministry for the Arts abruptly informed the alliance that it would be defunded from 1 January 2000?
The alliance wants to know whether a guarantee and commitment of the Carnivale for 2000 and its continuation as an annual festival would be given and why the administrative procedures and processes of the Ministry for the Arts have not applied to the defunding and forced merger of the Multicultural Arts Alliance. It also wants to know what the Government is doing to maintain and publicly report on the implementation of its cultural diversity in the arts. Is this yet another example of the Carr Government’s failure to deal fairly with multicultural arts and ethnic community organisations?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN:
This year’s opening of Carnivale was probably the most successful Carnivale opening of all time. I opened the Carnivale and it was spectacular. All the people I met there rushed up to me and congratulated me on the fine job the Government is doing. Without exception, they all congratulated me on the excellent job the Government is doing, and I accepted the congratulations and praise with my customary modesty. I cannot understand the honourable member’s question. I admit that I have not previously heard of the Multicultural Arts Alliance. It sounds like a lobby group. Of course, lobby groups are entitled to lobby the Government for all sorts of things, but the Government must take cognisance of the overall public interest, which is something that it does very well.
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti has finally come to life. One of my colleagues has suggested that there is justification for nuclear retaliation when one stations Major General Tutti-Frutti overseas. I look forward to the motion that will be moved tomorrow as I will move an amendment to it. How long does the honourable member want? He can have as long as he wants.