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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 168 ..

MR BERRY: Yes, I have read them. The Government's response to this is weak. There will be further argument about what the Government intends to do in relation to the issue. I can tell you that Labor will be working to ensure that the conditions for people on workers compensation improve, as we did when we were in government, rather than attack the service provider. You have to attack the problem rather than the service provider, and that has been the theme that has come from the Government from day one.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report on Draft Capital Works Program

Debate resumed from 21 September 1995, on motion by Mr Moore:

That the report be noted.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.27): I want to enter this debate briefly to comment on two recommendations of the committee in the area of the arts. The committee, in recommendation 4.14, has commented on proposals to expend half a million dollars on the replacement of the roof at the Canberra Theatre. The committee noted in its report that there had been conflicting advice given to it about the basis on which the costing figure had been arrived at and, not surprisingly perhaps, expressed some concern about the differences in the approaches taken by different areas.

I want to assure the committee that it is not the intention of the Government to proceed with work on the theatre if the basis of the costing has not been properly carried through or there has not been a full assessment of the alternatives to that work and the options in terms of whole-of-life costing that particular approaches that might be taken could result in. I might say that it does leave us having to be very careful about the way in which we choose how to replace that roof. There are different materials that might be available. Copper is a material used, I understand, on a number of buildings in this area. It is obviously a more expensive material but would be in keeping with the roofs of other buildings in this area. I will indicate to members that the Government will not proceed to do that work unless it is very clear that that is the best approach to fixing the problem of a leaking roof and that the most cost-effective alternative is taken up.

I also feel that it is important to comment on recommendation 4.17 concerning the Canberra Cultural Centre, as it is now called. The committee asked me, as the Minister, to explain the basis for what it described as my unilateral decision to relocate the proposed Cultural and Heritage Centre from the North Building. Point one is that the Government has not decided to relocate it from the North Building; it has merely drawn attention to the fact that there is a very considerable potential cost associated with proceeding with the North Building, which it feels that it needs to address. It is therefore proposed that there be an exploration of alternatives.

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