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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2439 ..

MS McRAE (continuing):

of funds for public art, and that commissioning took a while. There was also commissioning for a piece of Aboriginal artwork that the Aboriginal Consultative Committee was going to do. There has been some toing-and-froing about that and I do not know whether that will ever eventuate, but from the very beginning that was there. Probably there is no reason why you should have known about it, Mr Humphries, but now it is on the record and it will be there.

MR MOORE (9.16): The money for the Aboriginal artwork has probably been handed over to business. After all, that seems to be the way - - -

MR SPEAKER: Mr Moore, and I remind all other members of this as well, we are discussing Division 140, Arts and Heritage.

MR MOORE: The very words I used, Mr Speaker, were "Aboriginal artwork".

MR SPEAKER: I am sure you are going to address the issue before us, rather than things that have been in the past, Mr Moore. Would you mind continuing.

MR MOORE: Certainly, Mr Speaker, I always do that, although sometimes it is important to draw attention to the past in order to make a point about the future. In this particular instance, I made an off-the-cuff comment about an approach taken in dealing with matters of arts and heritage, and the implication I was trying to make was that, for the Liberals, a bit of money going over to business is more important than arts and heritage. That is what I was alluding to, and that is how I see it.

I will add, Mr Speaker, that the matter of the repair of the Canberra Theatre roof did come before my committee in terms of capital works, and there was a response to the capital works report from the Government which was equivocal at best. It said, "Yes, there will be an examination of that asset to determine what needs to be done about it". Of course, that ought to have been done in the first place, prior to the capital works ever being put up to the committee. I know that, in the Government's response on that issue, the Government said that the capital works program will be appropriately prepared prior to the next budget and by the time it comes through to our committee. Part of the reason for that response was that our committee decided unanimously that if we got such inadequately prepared documentation in the future we would recommend voting against those items that were put up. At the same time, I understand that the Chief Minister has proposed a slightly different system which will be more consultative in this matter; but, then, it could hardly be less consultative.

I would like the Minister to respond now on the roofing of the Canberra Theatre. It was a very large sum of money that was proposed to be spent on what appeared to be a relatively minor job. It looked like one of those very expensive solutions that was done off the top of the head. I want to know what Mr Humphries has proposed to ensure that the approach is done appropriately and that we do not run into this sort of problem again, and whether we have heard anything further about the asset management assessment of that roofing issue.

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