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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . .

Page.. 3038..


about Canberra, the Defence Force and robotics, themes which were integral to his novel. Published earlier this year by Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom, his novel is promoting Canberra and Canberra writing to international audiences.

These are just two examples that only touch on the many hundreds of arts activities and artists' careers that have been supported over the years through artsACT and our arts funds.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, in an earlier answer you mentioned the arts policy framework. The framework has principles and a foundation but no strategy or targets. When will the government establish a strategy and targets for the arts community in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Smyth for his question. The arts framework provides guidance to the ACT arts directorate about the activities and functions that it performs and indeed guides the various funding opportunities that we put out to key arts organisations and arts practice across Canberra.

Government—office accommodation

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in July 2014 the government started a register of interest process for an ACT government office block in Civic. In September you announced that the government would be deferring a number of projects, including the city to lake project. Chief Minister, will you still proceed with the register of interest process for government accommodation?

MS GALLAGHER: This is a matter that the Minister for Economic Development is managing but the answer—I presume it will be the same—is yes.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, do you consider the government office block a higher priority than the Australia forum or the city to the lake project?

MS GALLAGHER: I think driving efficiencies across government accommodation is of enormous benefit to the budget and to the broader ACT community, who expect prudent use of taxpayers' funds. We have thousands of public servants. We need to ensure that they are in appropriate accommodation and we intend to do that. It is not necessarily a matter of choice. We are currently paying accommodation costs for public servants. We are going through a process now to update and co-locate, as we have done, in Gungahlin. It is actually a function of running a public service to ensure that we have public servants accommodated appropriately and that that is done in the most efficient and effective way.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why has this project stayed as a priority when other capital works projects have been indefinitely deferred?


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