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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1401 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Quinlan made the rather strange comment in this debate that other community organisations do not have to account for the way they spend their funds, so why should the Institute of the Arts?

Mr Quinlan: I did not say that at all. Do not build straw men, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: All right. Okay, they do not - - -

Mr Quinlan: They do account for their hours. They do not account for quality.

MR HUMPHRIES: They do not account at the level that we are seeking from the Institute of the Arts. My comment to that would be that no other institution gets funding at that level without that level of accountability. In other words, any organisation getting that much funding from the ACT Government, in other areas, has to account at a much higher level than is the case with the Institute of the Arts.

Mr Quinlan: Rubbish.

MR HUMPHRIES: Can you name any other institution which gets funding at that level, Mr Quinlan?

Mr Quinlan: Go and have a look at the whole community sector, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: No, Mr Quinlan cannot.

Mr Quinlan: Yes, all right. Respite care.

MR HUMPHRIES: Nobody in the community sector gets $1.6m in one lump from the ACT Government, Mr Quinlan, and when they do they get a much higher level of accountability than is the case for the Institute of the Arts.

This Government does value the contribution that has been made by the institute. We as a government have put more resources into arts in this Territory than any other government. We provided $22m over the last three years in capital works alone, $3m extra in recurrent expenditure, and a whole host of other items of expenditure. (Extension of time granted) I thank members. A whole host of commitments was made to the arts in this Territory. There was $25m for new arts and cultural facilities, and Ms Carnell referred to some of those. There was a new Playhouse, a new Museum and Gallery, a new arts centre for Tuggeranong, the performing arts complex at Hawker College, the upgrading of the Canberra Theatre - a whole host of items on top of our extra commitment to recurrent expenditure in the arts. There is more than enough to demonstrate our commitments to the arts, but we do have to make sure that we deliver resources in a cost-effective way, and that is simply what we are saying in this debate. We need to ensure that we can account for the money that we spend on behalf of the Territory. I am confident that at the end of this process, which will not be today with this motion's defeat, we will resolve this process by negotiation with the Institute of the Arts, and that ought to produce a better outcome for all concerned.

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