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Queensland: towards a greener creative state

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Kirsten Lovejoy

As the state’s election looms, the Queensland Greens’ candidate for McConnel, Kirsten Lovejoy discusses the party’s arts policies.
Queensland: towards a greener creative state

Queensland Greens’ candidate for McConnel, Kirsten Lovejoy; image via http://greens.org.au

The Queensland election takes place on 25 November. ArtsHub has approached a number of the state's political parties for details of their arts policies, which will be published as they are received.

Read: LNP promises $9 million for arts as QLD election heats up

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The Queensland Greens' candidate for McConnell, Kirsten Lovejoy, has provided the following statement.

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The Arts aren’t just an industry, but a vital socio-cultural cornerstone that promotes wellbeing, reflection, celebration and inclusion.

All Queenslanders should have access to an Arts scene that is as diverse as our community, whether they’re in Brisbane or Barcaldine, and into blues, ballet or Brett Whiteley. The Queensland Greens are committed to providing a substantial increase of funding to the Arts – established and emerging artists, programs for marginalized community groups, and for public Arts and culture venues across the state.

Growing up in a rural mining town, I did not have access to our variety of amazing venues, exhibitions, education facilities our world-class artists. I am now privileged to live in inner Brisbane, with galleries, theatres, nightclubs, music halls, studios, stages and arts education institutions all within easy reach. I see firsthand how the Arts foster our connection to place, but also each other. I see how the Arts can be a place of belonging for marginalised communities. I see how the Arts are important for innovation, our tourism industry and economy more broadly. The Arts are a big part of our way of life, and what makes this place a home.

All Queenslanders should be able to access the Arts, whether as a student, participant or consumer. And as all of the above.

For Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the Arts provides a way of maintaining a connection to culture and land that has been irreversibly changed by European settlement.

The Queensland Greens recognise that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts are of utmost importance in:

  • Conserving cultural heritage;
  • Maintaining and extending a connection to land and culture;
  • Engagement within, between and external to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
  • Education of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children, young people and communities, and
  • Employment and economic development opportunities, particularly in rural and remote communities.

The Queensland Greens are committed to assisting our First Nations in maintaining or restoring a connection to their traditional arts and cultural practices. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and their work represent cultures and heritage, which are unique to Australia and must be supported, respected and appropriately protected through legislation, policy and funding priorities.

The Queensland Greens are committed to providing funding for the Arts in rural and regional Queensland – by supporting the growth of Arts infrastructure, supporting tours and exchanges between established and metropolitan Arts, and emerging or local artists.

The Queensland Greens are committed to ensuring access to the Arts and Queensland artists is affordable, and that the work of artists is valued and rewarded, and their workplaces safe.

Fortitude Valley, in the heart of my electorate of McConnell, is Queensland’s epicenter for popular music and live entertainment venues. Government policy, such as lock-out laws and ID scanners, has had a detrimental impact on the culture and viability of this place. All Arts genres are of social and cultural value, and freedom of expression is to be encouraged. The Queensland Greens are committed to supporting live music venues by reducing the administrative burden upon them, providing safe and reliable transport, safe spaces in late-night precincts, and discouraging reliance on gambling revenue.

Prioritizing the inclusion of Arts and cultural infrastructure within urban planning, including of Arts perspectives in design and construction, is important in reflecting and conserving local diversity and character across the state, and provides opportunities for community engagement, tourism and economic development.

It also promotes the inclusivity of our Arts sector. I am passionate about inclusivity and equity and want to see more venues and companies that are accessible for people with a disability and for those of linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, as well as those of lower income. The Queensland Greens see a key role for government in providing access to the Arts and recognising the artistic perspectives of those of diverse and marginalised demographics, and in promoting Arts practice within diverse groups, including the aged, prisoners, in mental health settings, migrant communities, disability groups and the like.

The Queensland Government can directly support the Arts and these perspectives by utilising the services and talents of Queensland artists, of a diverse range of genres, including in the development of print and digital media, to enhance public buildings and spaces, and in the commissioning and acquisition of art for public venues and events.

The Queensland Greens are keen to support the development of Queensland’s Arts and cultural sector, and see the sector as an opportunity for Queensland’s communities to increase prosperity through the global low-carbon transition. In that regard, the sustainability of Queensland’s Arts sector is to be promoted and the environmental impact minimised.  

To support the development of the sector, the Queensland Greens will provide additional funding to support the professional development of emerging and established artists across a significant breadth of artistic and creative endeavours, and prioritise the inclusion of Arts and cultural infrastructure, such as workspaces, performance spaces and public art, in the development of greenfield sites. The Queensland Greens will also implement programs that support the inclusion, through attendance and participation, of marginalized groups in education, festivals and other Arts events.

The Arts are of central importance within the education system in providing students with a creative outlet, in complementing other learning fields, in student-retention, and in fostering appreciation and understanding of the arts, as well as the skills necessary for artistic practice. My youngest child, still at high school, is aspiring to a career in the Arts; I see the benefits in her confidence and team-work, as well as her emotional resilience.

Improved, ongoing funding for Arts education is something the Queensland Greens are keen to see; it provides employment opportunities for qualified, practicing artists, as well as inspiring creativity and innovation within our young people. The Queensland Greens support the development of a Youth Arts Strategy, that includes actions to support students and emerging artists across the state access specialised Arts education, as well as youth programs and education materials in existing public arts venues in rural and regional Queensland.

greens.org.au

About the author

Kirsten Lovejoy is the Queensland Greens candidate for McConnel. She is a resident of Spring Hill, where she has lived with her partner and two children for over ten years. She works full time, volunteers in her spare time, and is an active cyclist. Lovejoy was born in Brisbane and raised in Broken Hill, and is dedicated to equality, justice and improving environmental health. 

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