Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 September 1995) . . Page.. 1492 ..
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, Renfree and Hanrahan Architects were commissioned by the former Government to advise it on the costs of proceeding with the Cultural and Heritage Centre in the North Building. That report indicated that the additional cost, on top of the $6.9m put aside for the Cultural and Heritage Centre, of erecting the centre on that site would be in the order of between $3m and $5m. Mr Speaker, those are not my figures. That is from this report, and I table that report. I say to members: What does the Assembly expect the Government to do? We have the choice of taking that money off the $6.9m put aside for the Cultural and Heritage Centre, which will make a centre that was far from being viable in the first place, or we have the choice of looking for an alternative venue for that centre.
Mr Speaker, I do not like having to say that the centre should not be in the North Building either. It is a very good location for the centre and I would like to see it continue there, but we do not have a spare $3m to $5m floating around in the coffers to put into a centre for which there is already a commitment of $6.9m. I would say, Mr Speaker, that it is incumbent on us to use the money rationally. I have discussed this with a number of people, including the head of the Heritage Council and the Cultural and Heritage Centre Steering Committee and, regrettably, Mr Speaker, there is not an alternative that I can see or that those people can see to that process. We have to put other places on the agenda in order to be able to find a suitable location. I am happy to discuss where those locations could be. Members opposite know that there was a problem. They commissioned the report in the first place, and the report is very clear.
Ms McRae: But we did not get the report. It went to you, not to us.
MR HUMPHRIES: You have seen the report.
Ms Follett: No, we have not.
Ms McRae: We have not.
MR HUMPHRIES: One of your members has.
Mr Wood: No.
Ms McRae: No, he has not. Do not read people’s minds again.
MR HUMPHRIES: I do not think Ms McRae should press that point too hard, Mr Speaker.
Ms McRae: I have asked him, Mr Humphries, which you have not.
MR HUMPHRIES: I do not think she should press that point too hard. I think she should have a little whisper next to her, Mr Speaker. The fact is that I do not see an alternative location, and I look forward to members cooperating and finding a place that we can afford to fund with our $6.9m.