Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1113 ..
So rather than looking at this as the city taking away from town centres, why do we not instead approach this as a successful Canberra requiring a successful CBD and successful town centres? Let us take a glass half-full approach. If I can offer one bit of advice to Mr Cain as he takes on his new responsibilities, this city will only thrive if we talk it up. And if we spend all our time in this place complaining about which part of the city gets investment in one particular investment cycle, that is not going to be good for Canberra’s long-term economic health, nor will it be good for attracting the national and international investment that our city needs to grow.
We have a tiny pool of local capital. We are a young city. We are not a city that is full of wealthy people who have been living here for centuries. Canberra has to attract capital from outside in order to grow, more so than most other Australian cities. And if Australia’s economic development story has been one of importing capital from overseas, that is doubly true for Canberra. That is why we have a City Renewal Authority. It is the only way that our CBD can grow and grow effectively in our lifetimes. We can just sit back and hope that people might come and invest here, or we can go and actively chase it, guide it and deliver better outcomes. That is how we are going to get a new theatre quicker. That is how we are going to get a new stadium quicker. That is how we are going to get new convention facilities. We have got to attract that capital. We need an agency to drive that, and the City Renewal Authority is doing an outstanding job. I commend the appropriation to the Assembly.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Cultural Facilities Corporation—Part 1.15
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.38): I will speak very briefly on Cultural Facilities Corporation. I would like to acknowledge all the work that they have done throughout the COVID-19 period. During the hearings that we held, it was good to hear all about the flexibility in the work that they did. They still have a way ahead of them, coming out of the pandemic, but, once again, my congratulations to them. As a final point, I would also like to say that we have talked for a long time about a new theatre precinct and a new Canberra theatre, and I am looking forward to hearing a lot more about that in the future. Rather than all the talk, it would be nice to see some action.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.39): The Cultural Facilities Corporation is an ACT cultural leader for the arts and heritage. It manages the Canberra Theatre, CMAG, Lanyon Homestead, Calthorpes’ House, and Mugga-Mugga Cottage. As the Greens crossbench spokesperson for the arts, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the corporation’s work over the past 18 months. I am sure that we all have rich memories of major performances, or a visit to a quirky collection or one of Canberra’s historic homesteads. I particularly enjoyed last year’s activism exhibit in CMAG, which touched on some of the big social movements in Australia and showed how these fights were driven by ordinary people.
Culture is so important. It brings us together in shared experiences and helps us reflect on changing times. I want to recognise the amazing achievements of the Cultural Facilities Corporation, which has navigated a lot of change over the past year. It is a