Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3237 ..
He claimed progress in many matters affecting the future of EPIC. In reality, this progress suggests that the bureaucracy were being less than helpful in dealing with the board when it was chaired by the former chair, Mr Brian Acworth. There were long delays with the acquisition of block 751; there were long delays with the approval of a master plan, which was subsequently never approved. There were long delays with the resulting issue of low-cost accommodation at the site—much to the detriment of the ACT and much, I think, to the shame of the government.
An issue that was canvassed during the hearings was the redevelopment of the old petrol station site. It is a key component of the overall EPIC site, and we certainly look forward to the progress in redeveloping the site. There are a number of issues that the EPIC management decided to claim commercial-in-confidence on. For those members that are not aware, the old site has been surrendered by the former lessee and at its expense EPIC is cleaning up the site and removing the existing facilities—all at a time when it is not earning any rent on the site. We were not allowed to know what this is costing the people of the ACT.
But we do look forward to the new facility. It would appear there will be a service station and a fast food outlet on the site, so we do certainly look forward to the site being redeveloped in keeping with its position on Northbourne Avenue, at the entrance to Canberra, and hopefully it will be an asset to EPIC overall.
It really is a great time for EPIC. They have now secured the block, which will allow them to develop some low-cost accommodation that will give them an extra revenue stream. We look forward to that progressing quickly and successfully and we look forward to the redevelopment of the petrol station site, the emergence of the new facilities and a great future for EPIC.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.24—Cultural Facilities Corporation—$7,440,000 (net cost of outputs) and $1,686,000 (capital injection), totalling $9,126,000.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12:58 am): For me in particular, the Cultural Facilities Corporation means the Nolan Gallery and the debacle that is the loss of the wonderful asset that those paintings were for the ACT. It was clear that it was the intention of the artist that they be in Canberra; they be in a rural setting so that the actual contents of the paintings in question were reflected in their surrounds. I think it is a shame that we have not been able to come to an arrangement that would see them return back to our electorate, Mr Assistant Speaker Hargreaves, where they have been for so many years.
It is a shame that the building that we currently have there has over time deteriorated and that the full collection is not able to be shown to its glory and, indeed, is not able to be shown that it might become a major attraction for that part of Canberra in conjunction with the Lanyon homestead. There is a lot to celebrate in the works of Sidney Nolan and it is a shame that they are not going to be celebrated here in southern Canberra.