‘Expert’ groups to advise Arts Minister

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FOLLOWING the “CityNews” report this morning on the disbanding of the ACT Cultural Council, the office of ACT Arts Minister Joy Burch has confirmed that the council appointments ceased on May 9, and that a new advisory mechanism had been initiated.

A spokesman for Ms Burch said, “the Minister disbanded the CC following careful consideration, and concluding that as an arts policy advisory group the skills and expertise of the members of the CC were not being well utilised.”

He added that for some years now, the council had no direct input into ACT Government funding of the arts, so the decision to disband the body would have no effect on the administration of arts funding in the ACT.

The plan is to take advice from “independent issue-specific arts policy discussion groups,” which would  consist of “focussed experts relating to each specific issue, sourced from an artsACT expert database.”

As well, specialist staff from the ACT’s universities and national cultural institutions could be included. These groups would meet on an as-needed basis, determined by artsACT.

The spokesman strongly denied any suggestion that a more powerful secretariat would be established.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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