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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4329..


MR WOOD (continuing):

substantial increases to the grants funding, and I will announce the grants for 2005 tomorrow. There have been additional arts program initiatives to support: major arts organisations, managing arts facilities, public art, establishing the ACT Poetry Award and support for the Canberra Art Prize. We have also matched Commonwealth funding.

Significantly, we have developed an arts facilities strategy, and we have provided ongoing budget funding for facilities, which was not in position before. That is very important. We have given extra funding and repairs to various arts facilities: Theatre 3 and Manuka Arts Centre, who are working very well now, with ArtSound to go in there and Photo Access in there already.

There have been feasibility studies, with other groups, for the City West performing arts precinct and Belconnen arts. With the Chief Minister, we kicked that off. I will be announcing more about that shortly. We gave funding in 2004-05 for a forward design. We have targeted significantly more money for a public art program and the development of a discussion paper on public art policy. That is going to be released tomorrow.

Of course, we have carried on the commitment to the glassworks project in Kingston and the Civic Library-a big process. We did not start those, but we have carried them on. I might say that it is never easy to get these through to fruition. You always have to go in and battle for them, but we have been able to do that. This is important activity, but the most important activity is what all our very many thousands of artists and performers do with all these facilities-how they utilise them and how Canberra citizens attend them and enjoy what they see there.

It has been a long and interesting program, and in more recent years I have been delighted with the very strong support that the Chief Minister has given to arts events. I now look forward to reaping some of those awards, as I will probably have a little more time to see what is on offer.

Public interest disclosure

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, I refer to your response to a question from me on Tuesday. You stated that your adviser had received advice from the CPSU on Tuesday, 20 July this year about serious allegations of corruption and maladministration. That included 12 pages of, apparently, 43 pages of documents outlining these claims in detail. Your adviser did not ask your department for advice on these very serious allegations until Friday, 23 July, resulting in your being briefed on 26 July. Why did your senior adviser wait for three days before he sought advice from your department about this matter and why didn't he tell you about such a serious issue as soon as he became aware of it? Did your adviser read the 12 pages? Finally, was anyone else in the government made aware of the content of those 12 pages?

MS GALLAGHER: You just cannot get off the subject. There has been this huge conspiracy! The serious issue here is that there have been very serious allegations made in a public interest disclosure process. That is the subject matter that has been greatly discussed across this chamber in question time for the last three sitting weeks or so. My adviser did receive a fax.


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