PMM: Supporting the Arts

24 Aug 2020 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby—Government Whip) (11:13): I move:

That this House:

(1) notes that cultural and creative activity plays an important role in:

(a) the lives of 98 per cent of Australians, who engage with the arts by making art, viewing, attending or going online to experience arts and culture;

(b) Australia's international tourism industry, with 43 per cent of all international tourists engaging with the arts while in Australia, who are travelling further, staying longer and spending more than other tourists;

(c) Australia's domestic tourism industry, with Australians taking 12.3 million arts day trips and 13.4 million arts overnight trips within Australia that include arts activities—this travel will play a role in helping communities rebuild and recover from disasters by supporting local jobs and economies; and

(d) Australia's economy, contributing more than $112 billion to our economy this year, or over 6 per cent of our gross domestic product, and this has increased by 30 per cent since 2008-09; and

(2) further notes that the Government is providing a record amount of funding to the arts, of around $750 million.

When I proposed this motion about the arts in Australia the world was a very different place. The coronavirus pandemic had not yet hit, life had not yet changed and our industries had not yet been severely impacted. We know that our arts, entertainment, and tourism and hospitality sectors have been and remain the most badly affected by this health and economic crisis. This is why the Morrison Liberal government has provided extensive support to the arts sector, which to date has included $336 million of JobKeeper support and $250 million of arts specific JobMaker support. I will continue to advocate for and support our artists, whether they are from the stage, screen, film, literature, music or visual arts. I have made my support for the arts known from my very first day in this
place, as my maiden speech shows. I'm incredibly proud to have fought for and delivered some very significant arts funding for South Australia, to build on our long and proud history as the true home of the arts in Australia.

My campaign started when the Adelaide City Deal, which focuses on Lot Fourteen, was announced. I knew that the creation of our nation's largest and most significant Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery not far from Australia's best state art gallery, the Art Gallery of South Australia, would make North Terrace in Adelaide one of the key art gallery destinations in our land. What I also knew was that, within 30 minutes of North Terrace —and that's probably peak hour traffic timing—we had two opportunities to create Australia's best overall art gallery offering, by supporting the expansion of Carrick Hill and Hans Heysen's The Cedars property. This is why I spent some months working with Premier Steven Marshall and the Minister for Population, Cities and
Urban Infrastructure, Minister Tudge, and their offices to put together a plan for not one but three significant galleries under our city deal. When national and international travel resumes, arts based tourism will assist South Australia's and our nation's economic recovery and will add to the usual $112 billion that our nation's arts sector generates each year.

The Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery is key to this plan, and it's supported by $85 million of federal government investment. The gallery will showcase and celebrate our incredible Indigenous art and culture,
drawing on South Australia's nationally significant collection, which is currently warehoused. I am so grateful to the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Minister Wyatt, for explaining to me the importance of this collection and the historic opportunity that we have to showcase our Indigenous heritage to the nation and to the world.I know that the state government is working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to shape the gallery's design, curatorship, operations and management, and I cannot wait to see how this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and gallery take shape.

Just a short drive from our Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery and the Art Gallery of South Australia on North Terrace and into the Adelaide Hills you can find the home of one of Australia's most recognised and best loved artists, Sir Hans Heysen, and his daughter Nora Heysen. Thanks to a federal government grant of $9 million, we will finally see The Cedars transformed into one of Australia's most significant art attractions. At The Cedars, we have one of the very few preserved artists' homes and studios around the nation. Sir Hans Heysen was known for his incredible landscape paintings and for his immense love of our natural environment. His daughter Nora was just as talented in her own right. Nora was a distinguished portrait and still-life painter, and she was the first woman to win the Archibald Prize, in 1938. She also became our first female war artist, during the Second World War.

Again not far from North Terrace and also The Cedars Heysen gallery is Carrick Hill, in my electorate of Boothby. Carrick Hill is home to a heritage house museum and garden. It's a very unique and unusual part of our national art gallery offerings. Carrick Hill has probably the world's most significant collection of Stanley Spencer's artworks but also some incredible pieces by Australian artists Arthur Streeton, Russell Drysdale, Nora and Hans Heysen and Ivor Hele, to name but a few, and we are supporting this with a $3 million federal government investment as well.