I join with the shadow arts minister in condemning the Abbott government's cuts to the Australia Council and the creation of what appears to be a cultural fiefdom.
I rise today to speak about the importance of shopping local, the importance of supporting local jobs, innovation and creativity and the importance of reducing your carbon footprint. Fashfest opens in Canberra tonight. It is a four-day fashion event that shines the light on Canberra's thriving local fashion industry.
I am very drawn to Fashfest and came across many of the designers who are engaged in Fashfest over the next four days when a group of us here set up the Parliamentary Friends of Aussie Fashion late last year. During that week late last year a number of members from both sides of the chamber went out to their local communities, sourced local designers and came in over the course of that week wearing those local designers. I had the great opportunity of sourcing some fantastic Canberra designers—Zilpah Tart, Adelina La Vita—as well as making a number of other purchases from the Handmade Canberra store in Civic.
Since then I have continued to discover the breadth of talent on Canberra's fashion scene—Karen Lee, Rockstars and Royalty, Corr Blimey and The Prodigal Daughter —who will be showcased at this year's Fashfest. I encourage everyone in this chamber to get behind shopping locally.