Queensland’s State Government has announced it will cease funding for the Fanfare Festival, a biennial workshop and competition for primary and high school ensembles from across the state. With 11 ensembles already nominated for the three-day state finals in Brisbane on July 31, the Festival will go ahead as planned this year, but Fanfare 2012 may be the last in its 27-year history.

State education minister John-Paul Langbroek told The Brisbane Timesthe $88,000 Fanfare program was ending “as part of the Newman government’s plan to get Queensland’s budget back on track and keep the LNP’s promise to protect frontline services”.

Queensland opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was quick to condemn the decision to scrap the festival, saying it was “just plain mean”. Mr Langbroek defended his decision on Fairfax Radio 4BC, saying the government did not want to discourage creativity, and that axing Fanfare would not stop children wanting to play instruments.

Also to be axed is MOST: a two-week intensive music workshop for 77 talented students across Queensland. Education Queensland assistant director-general Mark Campling said that Fanfare and MOST cost about $175,000 combined. This latest blow to the arts comes after the Newman Government withdrew funding for the Queensland Premier’s Literary...