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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2281 ..


priority for the ACT government in the coming years. We are continuing to work on completing the design work and business case to create new jobs and attract bigger shows and concerts to the ACT.

The Cultural Facilities Corporation received a total of $428,000 in better infrastructure funding in the past financial year. This funding allowed several priority projects to take place during the year.

The major allocation from this amount, $145,000, was used to purchase new carpet for the Canberra Theatre Centre. This was needed both for safety reasons and to ensure that the presentation of the centre is maintained at an appropriate standard for the region’s premier performing arts venue. I was interested to hear that the new carpet reflects the history and heritage of the Canberra Theatre Centre, by incorporating the design used for the original house curtains for the Canberra Theatre, Frances Burke’s black opal design. While the carpet was purchased this year, in order to fit in with theatre programming schedules—which I am pleased to say are looking quite busy even with the effects from Sydney—it will be installed progressively during the course of this financial year.

As the Chief Minister stated, 2021 is an opportune time to update the ACT Infrastructure Plan. I look forward to being part of this process to ensure that we continue to provide access to high quality facilities for participating in arts and cultural activities across the ACT. I commend his statement.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.57): Our region and our city have changed significantly since the government released the ACT Infrastructure Plan in October 2019. The dry, hot summer which followed the plan’s release saw bushfires rage across the continent. Neighbouring parts of New South Wales were destroyed by blazes during the Christmas holiday period, and in January fire swept through our backyard in the Orroral Valley and Namadgi National Park. The Orroral Valley fire was the most serious Canberra had faced since the deadly 2003 fires.

In the aftermath of these fires, the truly devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were being realised across the globe. In March 2020 the ACT declared a public health emergency, and it is fair to say that our way of life has changed. The seismic emergencies of national and global significance remain a threat.

If we have learned anything since the summer of 2019-20, it is that emergencies of one form or another are constant in our lives. While we do all that we possibly can to avoid emergencies, the reality is that we cannot stop them all from occurring.

In my ministerial portfolio, I am pleased and very interested to know how, as a community and government, we respond to emergencies. I could not be prouder. I am proud of the dedication shown by our hardworking men and women of ACT Policing and the Emergency Services Agency, who provide the frontline support to keep our community safe. I am proud of the many volunteers who are so willing to give up


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