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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 64 asked in the Legislative Council on 13 February 2020 by Hon Robin Scott

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

PERTH THEATRE TRUST — TAIWANESE FLAG

64. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Culture and the Arts:

I refer the minister to reports on 4 February 2020 that the Perth Theatre Trust had apologised to China over displaying a Taiwanese flag.

(1) Can the government confirm that the Chinese Consul or her staff complained about the display of a Taiwanese flag during a performance?

(2) When did the government become aware of the decision of the Perth Theatre Trust to apologise to China?

(3) Does the government stand by the Perth Theatre Trust's decision to apologise to China?

(4) What right does China, a foreign government, have to dictate the content of arts performances in Australia?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) The Chinese Consul requested a meeting with the Perth Theatre Trust to discuss the sensitivities around a Taiwanese flag being displayed and the national anthem being played prior to a performance.

(2)–(3) The Perth Theatre Trust did not apologise to China; rather, it acknowledged the concern of the Chinese Consul who had attended the performance, and an explanation was provided that the Perth Theatre Trust was not aware the proposed formalities were taking place on stage.

(4) Foreign governments do not dictate the content of arts performances in Perth Theatre Trust venues.