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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1388 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

I also table variation No. 93 to the Territory Plan for a golf facility at Narrabundah at section 34 block 16 and part block 27. The variation proposes to vary the land use policy from urban open space to restricted access recreation to permit a golf facility on the site at the corner of Jerrabomberra Avenue and Hindmarsh Drive. The Standing Committee on Urban Services considered the draft variation and in report No. 3 of 26 June 1998, which was just tabled, endorsed the draft variation.


Debate resumed.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.40): Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that the Government has decided to change the way that it funds the ANU Institute of the Arts. As members would know, in the past the ACT Government has provided approximately $1.6m to the institute. But, as Mr Wood did not say, the problem with that $1.6m is that the ACT had no idea what it was getting for its money. The ACT Government would not give $1.6m, or for that matter $60,000, to any organisation if that organisation could not account for the dollars. The institute has said that this contribution is towards its general operating costs. Well, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have to say, and I suspect many other Canberrans would say, "Excuse me, why would the ACT Government pay for the general operating costs of an entity that is part of the ANU?". If we were going to pay for the Institute of the Arts, why would we not pay for the Arts Department? Why would we not pay for a Russian course that was recently discontinued? What makes this different? Well, Mr Wood made the point. What makes the institute different, potentially, is the fact that it provides some community-based services to the people of the ACT. The Government totally agrees with that. There is no doubt about that at all. But then we had to determine what services they were providing and at what cost. Again, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, we struck some significant snags. I have to say that the institute had very little idea of what was being provided and at what cost.

Prior to or during the budget process I was provided with information on the draft MOU that Mr Wood also spoke about with regard to the sorts of services that the institute was providing. I have to say that it was an unsigned MOU. The information I was given was that a very large number of the supposed services provided to the ACT either were not being provided or were not being provided at a level that would make them worthy of funding at the current level. Does Mr Wood believe that, given that sort of information, he would continue to have said, "No, $1.6m. Thank you very much. Here you go. I do not really mind whether the services are being provided, whether they are being provided at a reasonable cost" - and that is really important - "or whether the ACT Government is funding administrative overheads for the Institute of the Arts or expensive overseas travel."? You do not know, Mr Wood. You have no idea.

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