Drawn away from their core principles by the manipulative strategies of the ACT Liberals, apparently the ACT Greens have completely forgotten their commitment to Indigenous culture. With an election on the near horizon, their recent behaviour with respect to their Arts policy (as much as they have one, given the weird pronouncements of the last few days) would suggest that in their political strategies they take no notice of their published policies. Not that they have much to strategise about. Other than a “belief” that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures “make a vital and continuing contribution to arts and culture in the ACT” their Arts Policy contains nothing of a strategic nature in relation to Indigenous matters. The final (twenty-second) point in the ACT Greens Policy on the general interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples suggests that the ACT Greens will “support” actions “promoting the understanding of, and respect for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through community education and information strategies.”
Let’s compare words and deeds. Given the opportunity to support a local organization (yes, I mean Megalo) that has a long and eminent national track record working with Indigenous artists, they give their support instead to an opportunistic rag-bag of community musicians and other organisations who have voiced no apparent interest in, or have no track record of support for Indigenous anything. None of the proponents supporting the Liberals and the Greens political strategy to block the occupancy by Megalo of the Fitters Workshop have shown the slightest interest in promoting Indigenous arts in their dreams of a Fitters Music Hall. By contrast, over many years Megalo has supported and conducted residencies and programs playing a vital role in supporting and producing one of the most significant aspects of the development of contemporary Indigenous (visual) arts. And so, let me ask Ms Le Couteur (who is the Green Voice of the Arts) which group should you be supporting, to be consistent with your “policies”?