Page 599 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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MRS KIKKERT: Minister, why is there no sterile zone around the perimeter fence, when officers have been calling for it for some time?

MR GENTLEMAN: That is an operational matter for AMC, and I am very happy with the work that they are doing at the moment. I will leave those operational matters with them.

MR CAIN: Minister, why is there inadequate surveillance on the outside of the perimeter fence, when officers have been calling for this for some time?

MR GENTLEMAN: We take on board every comment, of course, that officers make in relation to their particular safety and the operations at AMC, and those matters are taken on board by the commissioner and those working to improve safety for members at the AMC.

Kingston Arts Precinct—delivery

MS LAWDER: Madam Speaker, my question is to Minister for the Arts. In July 2021, the SLA Board made the decision to terminate the contract with Geocon for the Kingston Arts Precinct, following a lengthy list of issues, and your government is now planning to deliver the Kingston Arts Precinct itself through its own agencies. Resident arts organisations were informed of this decision on 4 November, prior to a 5 November meeting. Geocon was paid half a million dollars to “cover reasonable expenses of Geocon.”

Why has your government spent $500,000 and received no tangible result that is of benefit to the community?

MR BARR: This is a major project within an urban renewal precinct. So, whilst Minister Cheyne and I are working on it, in relation to the procurement and development of the project, that sits within my urban renewal area of the Suburban Land Agency, hence my answer to the question. Ms Lawder, the government has indeed received benefit in relation to the intellectual property and the design that has been undertaken to date, so we have not paid for nothing; we have paid for something.

MS LAWDER: Minister or Chief Minister, why were resident arts organisations kept in the dark about these decisions from July to November 2021?

MR BARR: Well, these are obviously complex commercial negotiations that required the government to cease the contract and take over responsibility for delivery of a project. So it is not something that could be shared publicly until that process was complete and, in advance of the public announcement, those groups were advised.

MS LEE: Chief Minister, will the government be using the designs and the IP that you say that you paid Geocon for? Is the project still on track for 2025 delivery?

MR BARR: Certainly, the SLA’s intent is to draw upon the work that has already occurred. There are further rounds of consultation and engagement still to come. The

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