PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS – Australian Arts Community
Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (6.43 pm)—It is my pleasure to take this opportunity to speak on a subject that I am extremely passionate about—that is, the promotion of the arts. It takes me back to my childhood days, in particular some of the first television shows that I recall on Australian television. I remember a small town community production, and the television show was called Bellbird. It was about a small town community and nothing much happened in Bellbird. It was a show about nothing but it captured the minds and the souls of everyone here in—do I keep going?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms AE Burke)—You keep going. The member for Wannon has missed his call and will not get an opportunity to speak. The member for Dawson has the call.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER—It is a lesson for us all!
Mr BUCHHOLZ—I recall back in my youth watching the Australian production of Bellbird. I recall fondly that we used to use the characters as role models. Some of the characters elude my mind now, but I remember watching the show in black and white, before colour TV came out, with anticipation. Later on, as we step forward probably 10 to 15 years—and I do not know what category this show would fall into, but it was also another Australian production and one of the leaders of its time in variety or quiz shows—I take your minds to Blankety Blanks, a panel show of Australian celebrities hosted by a number of artists— Honourable members interjecting—
Mr BUCHHOLZ—Yes. Graham Kennedy and Ugly Dave Gray—it takes my mind to a spot where Ugly Dave Gray would often hold a large Cuban cigar in his mouth while at production, a far cry from the television that we watch today. Ladies and gentlemen, I share with you also with reference to my own family and person. I have a 14-year-old daughter, and sometimes I become disillusioned with Australian television and, in particular, international television, where sometimes it is difficult after 7.30 of an evening to find a show where someone is not getting shot or murdered. Sometimes you cannot find a television show where someone is not being cut up on an operating table, if that is not your thing. Whilst we do have some good Australian dramas—with reference to operating, RPA is an Australian one, and I think that one goes all right—
An honourable member—The Young Doctors.
Mr BUCHHOLZ—The Young Doctors is another good one from many years ago, and Matron Sloane played the role extremely well. With reference to the promotion of the arts here in Australia, not only do we have television but we also have some of the classics of screen and theatre. Who in this generation does not remember or has not seen the production of Mad Max? It is the film that launched the career of Mel Gibson.
Mr McCormack—What a fine actor!
Mr BUCHHOLZ—A fine actor, indeed so. He has launched his career onto the international stage, on which he has done Australia extremely proud in some of his productions. Some of his personal attributes off screen have not been too much, but when he is doing good things he is Australian and when he is playing up he is—
Mr Craig Thomson—American.
Mr BUCHHOLZ—American, absolutely! Again with reference to the arts, I want to support some of the more subdued films that are the old classics of Australia, such as Picnic at Hanging Rock. It was one of the first productions that gave us the capacity to see inland Australia and regional Australia.
Mr BUCHHOLZ—Gallipoli was one of the all-time greats, along with Breaker Morant.
Mr BUCHHOLZ—The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I have time to tell you a quick story about Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Mr Perrett—Steven Ciobo nominated that one.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER—Order!
Mr BUCHHOLZ—As far as the arts go, with reference to the wonderful crews and everything that are a part of this industry, in 2000 there was the Year of the Outback muster from Birdsville down to Marree. The catering team that worked on that drover’s camp worked out of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’s bus. It is a catering bus now, and it worked on the McLeod’s Daughters set in South Australia. It is a catering bus that now works in the Australian film industry promoting the arts. Madam Deputy Speaker, thank you very much for your indulgence—