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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3765 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

It is now 29 August 2001 and another deadline has passed, despite your repeated assurances. When is the next deadline for payment of outstanding creditors?

MR SMYTH: I understand that the proponent now has financial approval; that he has written to all his existing creditors asking them to confirm payment details. My expectation is that those payments will begin and, as I think the letter says, be completed by 7 September.

MR CORBELL: Given the number of extensions of these deadlines, what action will you take if the debts are not paid by that time?

MR SMYTH: It is hypothetical. The correspondence that is going out from the proponent indicates that he now has the approval of the financial institutions. He is seeking the details, and the payments will be made.

Gorman House

MR WOOD: My question is to the minister for the arts. Occupants of Gorman House, that wonderful arts centre, are anxious because of rumours, I expect unfounded, that suggest that the centre is to be closed or faces some loss of support. Can you allay their fears by assuring them of the government's continuing strong support?

MR SMYTH: I thank Mr Wood for his question and for some notice of it. The government has no intention of closing Gorman House. For those members who are not familiar with Gorman House, it houses organisations such as the ACT Writers Centre, the Choreography Centre, the Canberra Youth Theatre Company, the Canberra Contemporary Art Space, as well as many individual artists. They contribute significantly to the community. We have no plans to close Gorman House.

MR WOOD: I thank the minister for that. Can the minister confirm that it will continue with the same level of support as it has had in the past?

MR SMYTH: I cannot guarantee what incoming governments may do. This government is certainly committed to the arts, and we are very proud of our record in fostering the arts. In this year's budget, there is money for the link project, the contemporary glass project, as well as several other initiatives. Certainly the commitment from this government to the arts is firm. What those opposite may do in office they will have to answer for.

Government boards-women representatives

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister advise whether the government has any policy about the percentage of women on boards within the ACT government? What has the government achieved? Is the Chief Minister aware of any other similar approaches and policies?

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