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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4107..


MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, BUSINESS AND TOURISM

FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE TAKEN ON NOTICE

Canberra Technology Park

MS KERRIE TUCKER - Asked the Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism during question time, without notice on 30 August 2002:

� What is your government's position on management of Watson High School building? Have you done the work to show that in fact it's cheaper for you to hand over management of the building in this way, considering that you are actually subsidising the rent to such a large degree of one of the organisations.

� Could you give the Assembly details of exactly what the discount is that is offered to various organisations and what the market rent is, and also what the current landlord is spending on maintenance of the building. What's the condition of the building and what maintenance has occurred there?

MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, BUSINESS AND TOURISM

- The answer to the Member's question is as follows:

Mr Speaker,

I refer to Ms Tucker's question without notice taken on notice regarding the rent and management of Watson High School building, rent paid by sub licensees, condition of the building, and current landlord spending on maintaining the building.

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) on behalf of the Territory, and on the basis of a pre-existing arrangement with the Academy of Interactive Entertainment to provide training, licensed the Academy in April 2001 to use the old Watson High School.

The License Agreement allows the Academy to:

� provide education and training in conjunction with CIT; and

� through its Canberra Technology Park division, develop a local multimedia and interactive games industry by encouraging graduating students to start their own businesses in the field.

Canberra Technology Park is designed to lever the opportunity provided by the Academy of Interactive Entertainment to train students not only in computer-aided animation but also in business development. The Academy is a not-for-profit organisation, and I understand that the business incubation side of the Academy is operating at a small loss.

The Academy has an international reputation as an innovative cluster and developer of small to medium multimedia companies. As an indication, the Academy has trained over one-third of Australia's computer games industry requirements since 1996. Academy management informs the Government that the Academy recently received offers from both the Queensland and Victorian Governments to relocate its operations to those states.


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