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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 224 ..

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question was: Did the Department of Education have to reprioritise its minor new capital works budget to the tune of $250,000 because of this decision? Yes or no? It is a simple question and we expect a straightforward answer.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, there is no point of order. You did not ask the supplementary question anyway.

Mr Berry: May I rise to the occasion? If the Chief Minister does not want to answer the question - - -

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Berry. Allow the Chief Minister to finish her answer.

MS CARNELL: As I was answering, minor capital works budgets are reprioritised all the time. That is why they are minor capital works budgets - to facilitate. I am sure, Mr Speaker, that you have been known to reprioritise the minor capital works budget for the Assembly if a new requirement has come up. That is a normal part of departmental management. I am also absolutely confident that if the department had not reacted to our policy direction then maybe they would have responded to the Labor Party or to Mr Wood's big picture on page 3 of the Canberra Times urging the ACT Government to go ahead with the proposal. I do not think anyone could say that this was a secret proposal or one that has not followed all the appropriate processes. I think it is a proposal that will ensure that a very important heritage building is used appropriately in the best interests of the community.

Mr Wood: Hear, hear! No problem with that.

MS CARNELL: Those opposite say they agree. Mr Humphries responded to much lobbying from the arts community and from the heritage community generally to ensure that this very important site was appropriately used, and I am sure that as a visual arts centre - - -

Mr Stanhope: Do you agree, Mr Humphries?

MS CARNELL: It was his policy. Over the next few years we will see a staged refurbishment of this building which will be funded from minor capital works and from the capital works program generally. I know that we will see this important old building become an important part of the arts community in the ACT. I am sure that the arts community generally are less than impressed with the silly antics of those opposite.

Fire Services

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Justice, Mr Humphries. Minister, bearing in mind that it is February and that the Government is about to prepare the budget for the 1999-2000 financial year, could you please advise the Assembly whether the fire services budget for the Emergency Services Bureau has been finalised for last year's budget and whether it will retain the fire safety section?

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