$5m P/A + $5m Lump Sum for VCA

Posted by savevca1 on August 9th, 2010

If the Gillard Government is returned to power come August 21, VCA will be $5.1m better off every year according to today’s The Age. This new recurring funding for VCA, which starts in 2012, effectively plugs the funding gap caused by the previous Federal Government in 2005 (which precipitated the merger with the University of Melbourne).

Furthermore, the Gillard and Brumby Governments have gone halves in a new (non-recurring) $4m VCA Trust. SAVE VCA understand that alumni, arts business, and corporate donors will be asked to contribute to the fund over time, providing a new income stream for the College.

In addition, the Brumby Government has gifted a once-off $1m to VCA for infrastructure and equipment.

  • Hear what ABC774′s Jon Faine had to say about today’s announcement via YouTube or Facebook.
  • Read the Federal Labor media release here or via PDF.
  • Read the Victorian State Govt media release here.
  • Read the NTEU media release here, where spokesperson Matt McGowan notes “The NTEU will be keeping a close eye on the money to ensure that the additional funding is used to deliver world-class arts training rather than being diverted back to the central University’s coffers.”
  • Read the excellent analysis by ScreenHub, which points out today’s announcement breeds a whole lot of questions.
  • In reference to the follow-up article by The Age, the NTEU point out TAFE is not a viable solution for VCA. SAVE VCA agrees, with the most important work to be done now in relation to the ever growing University “subsidy” of VCA which is a result of an unfair rental / admin scheme (see below for detail).
  • Read the Melbourne Times coverage here.

Truly today is a remarkable milestone for SAVE VCA’s 14,000 members and our sixteen-month campaign. A special thanks to everyone who bombarded the State and Federal Governments with emails over the past fortnight calling for financial certainty for VCA – look what you achieved!

So the big question now is, how will the University of Melbourne handle these new funds?

In their media release, the signature double-meaning statements remain: “The University’s five-year agreement to make up a shortfall in Commonwealth funding of more than $5 million annually ceases at the end of 2011, but on the issue of whether the University would commit to extending the subsidy, [Vice Chancellor] Professor Davis said it had been significantly larger than required by the Commonwealth and would continue beyond 2011.”

SAVE VCA want to hear it plain from the University Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis.

  • Will the University of Melbourne commit to the $5.1M in recurring Federal funding being quarantined for VCA’s teaching programs ie. not siphoning off any funds for University rental and admin charges?
  • Will the University of Melbourne acknowledge it received $103m of assets upon merger with VCA, and thus the current application of the “Responsible Division Management” (RDM) rental/admin scheme which has seen VCA’s annual shortfall blow out from $6m p/a to $18-$20m p/a, is unfair and must be renegotiated? VCA must not be made to work towards removing $13 – $15m in University “subsidy” every year (the University figure of $18-$20m minus the $5m to be supplied by the Federal Govt from 2012).
  • If the University will not address the inequities inherit in the way the RDM has been applied to VCA, will it consider asking the State Government to demerge VCA from the University, returning VCA to a stand-alone affiliate? The State Coalition (Vic Libs + Vic Nationals) have already said that if they win the November 27 State election they will see VCA demerged from the University. The Australian Greens also think this option should be explored.
  • And finally, does the University understand that unless it quickly comes clean about VCA’s true financial status, donors will be very hesitant to hand over any funds for the VCA Trust. Donors will want surety their contributions will go directly to teaching programs and/or equipment.

Take 5 minutes and ask University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis these questions directly via email (vc@unimelb.edu.au). If today’s funding announcement proves anything, is that people power works.

Congratulations to the whole SAVE VCA community!


Julia Gillard at the 2007 Melbourne Opening of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical

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4 Responses to “$5m P/A + $5m Lump Sum for VCA”

  1. Me Too - ism

    ABOUT TIME! Does everyone remember though that it was state LIBERALs who forced the ALP’s hand – If state LIBERAL had not yelled and screamed and continued the pressure, this attempt by Labor to save an inner city seat would NOT have happened – The amount promised STILL falls short of the $6m p.a. Ted Baillieu announced a year ago. If the state govt actually gave a damn about the VCA, they would have fixed this months ago.

  2. Drama Grad

    What a difference an election can make!

    It’s great Federal Labor finally did something. But what’s with State Labor only give $3m as a once off?

    The Greens and Liberals in Victoria have been talking about demerger and annual state funding for VCA for ages – why didn’t Brumby just agree and do it?

    Clearly Uni melb cant be trusted – so lets get VCA out from the Uni and finish this! Well done everyone!!

  3. Music Grad

    fantastic news!

    but we need to make sure the damage done can be reversed. VCA Bachelor of Music Performance for Repertoire, Composition and everything else from VCA School of Music that just “vanished” needs to come back!

  4. The mantra of RDM (‘responsible’ division management = no responsibility taken by upper management) is just as strong in Glyn Davis’ mind as the ‘Melbourne Model’. It will need great care to prevent the money going into central admin – how else can they afford the expensive advertising and a $800,000 vice-chancellor who wanders off to the UK.

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