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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1406 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

should consider very seriously. I am sure members on this side of the house would be very happy to discuss this with you. We feel that this is a threshold issue for this Government if it is serious about recognising community concern and serious about supporting the viability of arts in the ACT.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the Institute of the Arts provides something which is beyond a monetary value to this city. It provides something which cannot be measured in a quantitative way. You cannot count the outputs for the Institute of the Arts, and nor should you. If we live in a society where we diminish everything down to something which is measurable and which can be counted, we are a poorer society. That is what the arts teach us. The arts teach us about things which cannot be measured in a quantitative way; about things which cannot be measured and counted and split up into little boxes like an accountant does. That is the beauty of the arts, and that is what gives this city the vitality it has through its arts. Mr Speaker, I urge members to support this motion here this evening, and I urge those members who have the ability to do so to seriously consider the avenues available to them when we come to vote on this item in the budget.

MR BERRY (5.53): Mr Speaker, the first thing I want to deal with is a comment that I understand was made by Mr Humphries in defence of Mr Hird. I think Mr Humphries referred to the Hansard report and Mr Hird's performance in the Estimates Committee. He said that the questions that Mr Hird asked were reasonable, as if to suggest that Mr Hird's performance was reasonable. We do not pick up anything from reading the Hansard. You do not pick up the intemperate nature of Mr Hird on the day. You do not pick up the red face and the angry body language, and you cannot smell the alcohol. You cannot get that from the Hansard.

MR SPEAKER: I beg your pardon.

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, I do not think it is appropriate in this place to make those sorts of comments.

MR BERRY: There is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol. Probably all of us drink it. Some drink more than others.

MR SPEAKER: Please, Mr Berry.

Mr Kaine: I would like to be doing it now. Could we get this over?

MR BERRY: Yes, and I am trying to hurry it along.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, please withdraw any implication there.

Ms Carnell: I would rather be doing it now, too, but I do not think it is appropriate - - -

MR BERRY: I do not impute. I am just saying that is a matter of fact.

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