An ACT Government-commissioned play depicting a siege of Parliament House by a group of eco-terrorists has been criticised by conservative commentator Andrew Bolt and the Opposition.
The ACT Arts Minister set aside $19,000 for the production of the satirical play Kill Climate Deniers, produced by the Aspen Island Theatre Company.
“What sane government donates to a project urging others to kill fellow citizens, even as a ‘joke’? Are these people mad?” Mr Bolt wrote in his blog.
The ACT Opposition’s Brendan Smyth said the decision was inappropriate, and showed appalling judgment.
“What we need at a time of uncertainty is a minister who’s there to promote tolerance, who’s there to promote inclusion,” he said.
“Not to fund, with taxpayers’ money, a group to put on a play called Kill Climate Deniers.”
The Aspen Island Theatre Company said the production was about questioning political decisions.
In a statement, the company said it does not believe in the use of violence as a political tool.
“We are not advocating the murder of carbon lobbyists! We are instead seeking to explore the question: What does it take to achieve political change in this society?” the company said.
In a statement, Minister Joy Burch said the Canberra Liberals were “trashing artists’ reputations for cheap political point-scoring”.
“This funding was announced more than a week ago, yet it has taken the Liberals’ arts spokesman until today to jump on the bandwagon,” she said.
“Mr Smyth is either unaware of the artistic credentials of the Aspen Island Theatre Company, or is prepared to ignore them for his own political purposes.
“Either way, it is an indictment of his understanding of and commitment to his portfolio.”
The play is slated to run early next year.