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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1413 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Mr Rugendyke is an ex-policeman and I think when he has been here a few more years - you learn quickly in this place, so maybe it will not be as long as that - he will use some of his police tactics. I am sure there were times when Mr Rugendyke confronted a number of people in the street somewhere and stood eyeball to eyeball with them and won out. That is what he should have done with the Chief Minister. I am sure that Mr Osborne has done that on various occasions. This is what should have been done. This is what might have been done. I think a simple request is not going to succeed. I remain disappointed that we do not have an indication yet of where this is taking us.

The Chief Minister, in her letter of 22 June, indicated that she would negotiate on what might be purchased. I said that before. The Chief Minister is being evasive when she says, "We have to do this and the institute must tell us". I asked Mr Humphries a question and I think he backed off. I said, "When you were Minister did you ask the institute to provide information in a different way?". I will read the Hansard tomorrow. I think initially he said, "Yes", and then he backed off that. My understanding is that he did not. There was no prior discussion.

I seem to recall that the Chief Minister said in her speech that there is not to be consultation on the budget. I think that is how it came out. Of course, the Government does consult on the budget. It invites all sorts of comments. But there was certainly no suggestion anywhere along the line to the Institute of the Arts that the process of acquitting their funds, if you like, was going to change. Nowhere was there that. It just did not happen. That is the big problem. Suddenly they get this bombshell and there is a dramatic change without any reference.

There are groups out here that have had to change, and there is a continuing, long process. I think Mr Quinlan pointed this out. They are having to change the way they are acquitting their funds and receipting their funds to the Government. They are being given time to do that. But this was sudden and there was no time. There are other comments I will make based on earlier comments from those who contributed to the debate, but I will leave that until I close the debate totally. I repeat, please request, but do more than that; do a bit of demanding. I think it would work.

MR BERRY (6.18): Mr Speaker, I would like to speak to the amendment, just briefly. The Estimates Committee has already requested by recommending that the Government restore the Institute of the Arts funding, and the Government has said no. This is just a waste of time, requesting it again. What are you going to do when they say no next time?

Ms Carnell: The Government has not responded to the Estimates Committee report because you have not tabled it.

MR BERRY: Well, you opposed it. You have opposed the motion, which makes it pretty clear.

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