Page 2949 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022
government will deliver on promises made a little over three years ago. Ms Orr put forward a motion in February of 2019 calling on her own government to conduct a feasibility study on a multicultural community facility in Gungahlin. The motion was amended to have money set aside in the 2019-20 budget, but in the last two budgets, 2021-22 and 2022-23, there has been no money for this study nor to build this facility. Minister, why, oh why, over the three years since the motion was brought and agreed to by the Assembly, has no feasibility study been conducted nor money put aside in the budget?
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr, as Treasurer are you responding?
MR BARR: If I correctly understand the project that Mr Milligan is referring to, it relates to Exhibition Park, and a major event facility, but I will just check that that is the project he is referring to, as opposed to the community centre in the Gungahlin town centre. Either way, both projects are proceeding. Allocations have been made. Provisions in the forward estimates have been made, and we will make further announcements. I am not allowed to make announcements on government policy in question time, but rest assured, Mr Milligan, the projects are proceeding.
MR MILLIGAN: Chief Minister, I am not sure if you will answer this, but why has there been no development of a community facility in Gungahlin or EPIC, to date?
MR BARR: As Mr Milligan would be aware, before construction can commence on major infrastructure projects there needs to be detailed design and planning work undertaken. When we are ready to make an announcement on the progress of those projects Mr Milligan will be amongst the first—if he is paying attention—
Mr Hanson: Is it a secret project?
MADAM SPEAKER: Ignore it, Mr Barr; do your best.
MR BARR: I have made a career of ignoring Mr Hanson, Madam Speaker!
MS ORR: Chief Minister, can you please update the Assembly on how the EPIC redevelopment is progressing, and how the inclusion of a multicultural function centre will be progressed as part of that project.
Opposition members interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: As humorous as you find this, the Chief Minister is on the floor, and he has an answer.
MR BARR: As I have indicated in my response to the earlier questions, work is underway in relation to the location within Exhibition Park. Ms Orr is absolutely correct that the new facility will contain a capacity for large-scale multicultural events, but that will not be its only use case; there will be other uses for the facility. The government has undertaken work that is in the public arena in relation to the renewal of Exhibition Park. There have been multiple stories in the opposition’s favourite source of information, the Canberra Times.