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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (2 March) . . Page.. 469..


Bushfires-Nolan Gallery

MR CORNWELL: My question is to the minister for the arts, Mr Wood. You said on 2CC last week that you had received warnings from the Cultural Facilities Corporation that the Nolan Gallery was under threat in relation to the bushfires. Who rang you? From where had they got the information? At what time did you go to the Nolan Gallery to save the paintings?

MR WOOD: The director of the gallery rang me. I am not sure exactly of the time. I did not record it. It was mid-afternoon, I think. I think I said on 2CC that it was at about 2.30 pm. It could have been a bit earlier; it could well have been a bit later. That was the score. I was home at that time. It was the one day in a very long period that I was not at the Emergency Services Bureau and, because my home is fairly close to Lanyon, I went down there. I cannot recall exactly the message, the imminent threat. To the best of my memory, I was told that, as a precaution, they were taking the Nolan paintings out of the gallery and I decided that it would be appropriate for me to go down there.

MR CORNWELL: I have a supplementary question. Minister, when you resumed your role as minister for the arts to save the paintings, why didn't you do the same thing and resume your role as emergency services minister to warn people?

MR WOOD: I would not presume to say that in my role as minister for the arts I saved paintings. I was one person that was helping to take paintings out to a van and a couple finished up in my car. That is what happened. The circumstances behind my not being at ESB that day are probably known-on the Friday evening before Mr Stanhope became acting minister. I had long planned a holiday in Sydney, starting on the Saturday, and in faint hope that something might change Mr Stanhope took over as emergency services minister. Of course, I never went away. I did not go into the ESB. I certainly considered whether I should go into the ESB that day; but I thought that they would be busy enough and that they would be fully engaged, so I would not go in. I resumed my regular sessions at the ESB the next day.

Aged persons residential development-Belconnen golf course

MRS CROSS: My question is to the Chief Minister. Mr Stanhope, in the letter that you sent on 28 January this year to Mr David O'Keefe of Madison Lifestyle Communities Pty Ltd you stated that the government "will shortly be reviewing your proposal and I expect that the assessment will be finalised in the near future". This is in regard to Mr O'Keefe's proposal for an aged persons residential development at the Belconnen golf course. It would, however, appear that these comments are in direct contradiction to positions stated by a fellow minister and a fellow member of your government. Planning minister Mr Corbell stated in a letter dated 4 March 2003:

While your proposal has considerable merit, in view of the broader planning issues, I cannot support it at this stage.

Further, Mr Corbell stated on Stateline on Friday, 27 February 2004 that the government was not going to support the development. Further, Mr Berry, in a letter to the community dated April 2001, stated that Labor would oppose any moves to add further


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