Bligh announces regional arts plan

By Rob O’Brien

BRISBANE: The Queensland Government has announced a statewide action plan to boost regional arts with a strong focus on local government.

Premier Anna Bligh said the program, artbeat: Regional Arts and Culture Strategy, would run from 2010 to 2014 and would affect Queenslanders in regional and remote areas.

"It commits the Government to working with regional communities, our partners in local and federal government and with arts organisations to achieve common goals,” Ms Bligh said on announcing the initative.

"These goals include using arts and culture to build stronger communities and to give opportunities for people to take part in arts and culture.”

Ms Bligh said the plan provided for an Arts and Cultural Policy Officer based in the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) to strengthen the relationship between state and local governments and build networks.

The LGAQ welcomed the opportunity to participate in one of the first partnerships under the Bligh Government’s five-year regional Arts and Culture Strategy.

 “This is yet another constructive move by the premier, who is also Arts minister, to strengthen relationships between state and local governments and to boost regional networks,” LGAQ president, Cr Paul Bell, said.

“Among other moves the premier announced is the establishment of a reference group of local government experts to help develop the arts and culture across the state.

“It is a model of engagement which the LGAQ and local government will continue to promote,” he said.

The Premier said artspeak built on the government’s investment in the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), with 55 regional councils receiving $2.26 million in 2009-10.


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