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Assembly starts micro-managing festival funding

By johnboy - 17 November 2011 0

The Liberals Jeremy Hanson has announced that he’s had a win in his rearguard defence of the Weston Creek Festival.

The Canberra Liberals last night successfully passed their motion calling on ACT Labor to review its decision not to fund the Weston Creek Community Festival. Member for Molonglo Jeremy Hanson led the call after the local community council’s application was rejected with no explanation.

Following the Canberra Liberal’s successful motion, it is now up to ACT Labor to:

— review their decision to not fund the Weston Creek Community Council with a view to providing adequate funding that would allow the festival to go ahead.

— provide clear public information about the process of ranking festival funding applications.

— provide a simplified process for festival fund applications to ensure a lower rate of non-compliant applications.

— give Weston Creek Community Council and other unsuccessful applications information to help with their future applications.

UPDATE: The Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur has explained why they supported the motion and how the modified it:

“The ACT Government has been too focussed on big ticket events while important community festivals are going begging,” Ms Le Couteur said.

“When a grant application process results in more than half of all applications being deemed non-compliant, there is a problem with the application process.

“While I don’t believe it is appropriate for the Assembly to review each and every failed grant application, it is appropriate for us to make improvements to a broken process.

“By amending Mr Hanson’s motion, the ACT Greens have achieved practical reforms to some of the broader issues in ACT festival funding.

“We have called on the Government to provide clear public information about how applications are assessed, and to provide a simplified application process designed to result in lower rates of non-compliant applications.

“These reforms aim to prevent this situation from happening again. Community festivals are key events in the Canberra community’s year, and they deserve more support and less red tape from this Government.

“The Greens also called for, but were unable to secure, increased festival funding as well as government facilitated group insurance for festival organisers.

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