Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007

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Parliamentary Record 12


Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Wednesday 14 February 2007 3882 The ministers statement today supports the national development of a framework that supports Australias indigenous visual arts and crafts. It is important that there are some clear guidelines to guarantee the security of indigenous art and craft into the future. On the origins of the Senate inquiry, you should be a little careful here because the Northern Territory government should not claim that they were instrumental in convincing the Australian government to instigate this inquiry. The former federal minister was aware of the issues facing the indigenous visual arts industry and reports of exploitative treatment of indigenous artists. The previous Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Hon Rod Kemp, canvassed the views of key players in the indigenous arts sector and identified the need for a parliamentary inquiry to fully examine the state of the industry and to identify ways to build a more sustainable indigenous arts industry. The Senate inquiry has received 72 submissions covering many issues from a range of industry and government perspectives. This is a very strong response to the inquirys terms of reference and bodes well for a robust examination of the industry and the development of informed recommendations for the future. I must say that the submission by the Northern Territory government is a very comprehensive one. It took a little while to read through, and it was a very good submission. Indigenous art centres are the foundation of the indigenous arts sector. Most of these centres operate in remote Australia and most are owned and controlled by indigenous people. Art centres provide materials, space to work and technical assistance for artists, facilitate linkages to national and international dealers, collectors and galleries, and ensure the artists receive appropriate remuneration for their work. The minister said this is not something governments can take credit for; however, the Australian government must be recognised for their commitment to this innovative model. The National Arts and Crafts Industry Support program is a well-coordinated Australian federal government program that plays a key role in supporting arts centres to be as effective as possible. The program provides direct funding support to indigenous art centres and arts support and advocacy organisations with the objective of assisting arts centres to become stronger and build a more sustainable indigenous visual arts industry. In the 2006-07 budget, the Australian government announced an additional $1m for the National Arts and Craft Industry Support program and brought its annual funding to $5.644m. A point that was not made in the ministerial statement is that young indigenous people need to be encouraged to continue their culture and traditions, and express their place in the world. One of the ways of accomplishing this outside of the family or community group is to utilise the school system to facilitate greater interest and education. We cop a fair bit of slamming on this side of the House about what we have not done in the past, and we sit here and have to cop it. None of us four when we cop a slamming over everything that happens in this House and with this government ... Ms Scrymgour: Did you not read page 2? I called for bipartisan support. Mrs MILLER: Okay. Ms Scrymgour: You are the one slamming and being political now. If you want me to get political, I will do it in my response. Mrs MILLER: It is bipartisan. No matter how much the Labor government will have you believe that until they arrived on the scene there was no real promotion of Aboriginal visual arts and crafts, the CLP did not produce motherhood statements, but rather real promotion of Aboriginal art and crafts. Two of the most successful indigenous art exhibitions in the world, the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, which is now entering its 24th year, and the Annual Desert Mob Exhibition, operating since 1991, are initiatives of the CLP government, and both continue to provide Aboriginal artists the opportunity to have their art displayed, to build their reputation and help establish the artists reputations on the national and international arts scene. This is opportunity in practice. The federal government has also been very active in its continued support in all facets: legal, commercial, cultural and community. These include the Australia Council, which funded the National Association for the Visual Arts to develop a code of conduct for the indigenous visual arts industry. It includes the development of ethical indigenous art trade strategies and an indigenous commercial code of conduct. It is intended that the code will form the basis from which artists in the industry can promote ethical practices. The draft has been released for public comment, with the code to be finalised shortly. The Australia Council has also announced a three-year strategy to protect and promote indigenous intellectual and cultural property. The strategy will promote advocacy within the arts sector, the development of consumer information, and provide educational resources for indigenous