Coalition Arts Slush Fund To Be Scrutinised

Labor will ask a Senate inquiry into the establishment of the Coalition’s new $105 million arts slush fund to look into claims that Senator George Brandis has already paid over $1 million to a group connected to one of his staff.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

 

COALITION ARTS SLUSH FUND TO BE SCRUTINISED

 

Labor will ask a Senate inquiry into the establishment of the Coalition’s new $105 million arts slush fund to look into claims that Senator George Brandis has already paid over $1 million to a group connected to one of his staff.

 

Shadow Arts Minister Mark Dreyfus QC said the upcoming inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee should look into the process leading up to the two grants to the Australian World Orchestra by Senator Brandis.

 

“This illustrates the very vice of Senator Brandis’ new personal fund where wonderful artistic enterprises are dragged into political controversy,” Mr Dreyfus said.

 

“I am most concerned by comments attributed to Senator Brandis’ advisor that the Arts Minister ‘wants to have control over the recipients of this fund’, and that there will not be a peer-review process for the new fund.

 

“They confirm my fears from day one that the purpose of at the new slush fund in Senator Brandis’ department is to silence those who do not agree with him and reward those who do.

 

“Further, those organisations that will suffer most from the decision to gut the Australia Council will be small and emerging arts groups and artists that represent the future of the Australian artistic endeavours.”

 

“What is also troubling is that less than a week before the commencement of the fund we have not yet seen any funding guidelines."

 

FRIDAY, 26 MAY 2015