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Gillard and Garrett can save the VCA by overturning Howard's funding cuts

The Rudd Government should immediately commit to overturning the Howard Government's funding cuts to the Victorian College of the Arts to enable the full range of top quality performance training to continue, the Australian Greens said today.

Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, wrote to Ministers Gillard and Garrett last night seeking a meeting to discuss options for overturning the Howard Government's funding cuts to the VCA which have led to specialty courses being dropped and fears for the quality of ongoing performance training.

"If the Rudd Government can resolve so many of the VCA's troubles by returning it to sensible funding levels, it should do so immediately," Senator Milne said.

"Australian performing artists are some of our country's greatest ambassadors, telling Australia's story to the world and giving us all a sense of pride and wonder at their talent.

"An education revolution which bypasses the arts is a revolution without a soul.

"The VCA has a tremendous reputation for training some of Australia's wonderful performers. The school and its faculty should be rewarded for that, not treated so poorly."

Senator Milne wrote to Education Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Peter Garrett yesterday seeking a full briefing on the Federal Government's involvement and calling for school's Federal funding to be reinstated.

"I look forward to being able to help the VCA's students and staff in some way by encouraging Ministers Gillard and Garrett to reinstate the excellent school's full Federal funding."

The letters are available on request.

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