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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3263..


(10) Who finally made the decision to warn the people of Canberra about the pending disaster and when.

Mr Wood: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

Under the provisions of the Coroners Act 1997 the ACT Coroner's Court is conducting a comprehensive inquiry into the cause, origin and circumstances of the fires which destroyed and damaged property in January 2003 and inquests into the deaths associated with those fires.

The Coroner presiding over the inquiry has legal authority to examine all aspects of these matters, including the process for deciding if, and when, a state of emergency should be declared.

On this basis, I do not believe that it is appropriate to answer the Member's questions and pre-empt the findings of the Coroner. This Assembly should not usurp the functions of the Coroner. In addition, I do not have all of the answers to the Member's questions, as some of the answers to the Member's questions have been, or will be provided by witnesses through the coronial process. Further, answering some of the Member's questions may prejudice matters being dealt with by the Coroner. In particular these questions could have an effect on witnesses who are yet to give evidence.

Manuka Arts Centre

(Question No 1564)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Arts and Heritage, upon notice, on 25 May 2004:

(1) In relation to Manuka Arts Centre, why has only $16 000 of the $240 000 allocated for this project been expended when the project was originally scheduled for completion in June 2003;

(2) Does the December 2003-04 quarterly Capital Works progress report indicate the new completion date for this project is December 2004; if so, will this project be completed according to that schedule; if not, why not and when will it be completed.

Mr Wood: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The relocation of community radio station ArtSound FM to Manuka Arts Centre is a complex project with quite unique requirements. The project is being undertaken in partnership with ArtSound FM, which is primarily staffed by volunteers. The Government has been working closely with ArtSound FM, with the assistance of expert consultants, to resolve a number of technical issues that are specific to the requirements of a broadcast station.

(2) Subject to resolution of the technical issues referred to above, it is intended that the project will be completed by December 2004.

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