Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 23 August 2018) . . Page.. 3522 ..
of the two service agreements. I think there is a lack of clarity, and perhaps even a lack of governance, with the operations of Icon Water. It seems that to an extent we are getting the worst of both worlds instead of the best of both worlds with regard to the corporation. They are not necessarily as efficient as you would hope a private sector organisation would be; nor are they as accountable as a public sector organisation should be. Rather than getting efficiency and accountability, it seems that we may well be getting the opposite. I think that there has to be a revisit of the arrangements that are in place with regard to Icon Water.
For many years, Canberrans have been paying for infrastructure as an embedded component of their water bills. Now, Icon Water are seeking to have additional levies to pay for infrastructure. It makes you wonder what the infrastructure component of previous ICRC determinations was all about if they now do not have enough money to actually pay for infrastructure upgrades. Where has all that money gone that was embedded in people’s power prices?
I think there needs to be a revisit of this structure. We look forward to saying more about this at a later date.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Cultural Facilities Corporation—Part 1.15
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.34): I would like to speak very briefly on the budget item for the Cultural Facilities Corporation. I commend the corporation once again for its good work in providing Canberrans and the people we welcome to the ACT as visitors with well-managed flagship arts venues and historical places and for its proactive approach to attractions and the programs that they offer.
I believe that the Cultural Facilities Corporation was an inspired initiative of my mentor, Gary Humphries. It has stood us in good stead over nearly 20 years now as a flagship cultural organisation in the ACT. During the estimates hearings, officials—with the minister’s blessing, for which I thank him—offered me the opportunity to tour the Canberra Museum and Gallery. This was so that I could see how the planned capital works would impact on the operations and exhibition spaces in the building.
I was pleased to take up the opportunity. It was graciously hosted by the chief executive and the gallery director. It was very easy to see why the storage and workshop spaces need to be expanded. It was good to see that the careful planning of expanded spaces not only will give the public more insight into what goes on behind the scenes, but will also make the exhibition spaces more functional.
Gallery 5, the upstairs gallery, will be upgraded so that it will be an attractive space and give the Sidney Nolan collection a permanent display area. It will also create more opportunity for programs, especially for visiting schools. I hope that one day another project will begin so as to make the stairway access to the upstairs area a little less clunky. It is stylish, but access is a little difficult.