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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1060 ..

MR STEFANIAK: Might I also say that my colleague Mr Humphries has abolished fees for FOI applications, going one step further.

Mr Humphries: That is open government.

MR STEFANIAK: It certainly is. We make available to the Assembly information that the former Labor government never would have provided. All ministers, including Mr Smyth, regularly table reports in the Assembly. We table documents showing the progress of capital works programs and we table the contracts of senior executives. We are prepared to provide relevant material to members of the Assembly and the public, wherever possible. On this occasion, it is clearly inappropriate to do so as the CTEC contract is still being finalised and the release of documents at this stage would jeopardise the negotiations. Accordingly, I feel that the censure motion clearly is inappropriate and I would urge members to vote against it.

MR WOOD (5.03): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the relocation of CTEC to the airport was a strange move, taking an important body, one that is much concerned with what happens in the city, out of the centre of things. I want to comment in particular on one aspect of that, that is, the multicultural festival . It is quite clear that that festival could not work from the airport, it would not happen from the airport, as the festival is very much a hands-on affair.

I have become very much aware over the last few weeks of the work of the artistic director and of the volunteers in mounting that festival and keeping it going. It has been quite obvious to me, because my window looks out over Civic Square and I have seen Mr Mico supervising events there from early in the morning till late at night. I have seen the volunteers, one of whom is sitting in the gallery now, spending long hours in the square making sure that the festival goes on very well indeed. I have also seen the same people in various venues around the city. I do not know how Mr Mico and his volunteers could be so active from the airport. Mr Mico could walk from his office, go down the stairs and be at the centre of the activity. I am not aware of any festival events at the airport.

I should point out that the multicultural festival was not like the V8 rally, which was an event over two or three days-I am not sure which, because I did not go to it-in one location. In any event, it was run by a company, so the multicultural festival is quite different. It was about having many events in various locations over a fortnight. I am sure that CTEC did not understand what the festival was about. Just one example: there was comment somewhere or other that the embassies might have been helpful in providing some of the food stalls. In fact, the embassies have been a key part of the festival. They have provided enormous support to the festival.

Mr Humphries: Is this relevant to the motion?


: Indeed it is, Mr Humphries, even more relevant than what Mr Stefaniak was saying a minute ago. I think the evidence is there, especially with that misunderstanding about the embassies, that CTEC did not understand what the festival was about. That was at the core of the crisis between CTEC and the multicultural festival. Mr Mico said that it should not come under CTEC. He said what was pretty

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