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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 4023 ..

Watson High School site

(Question No 275)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice, on 24 September 2002:

In relation to the old Watson High School site:

(1) Is this site a "community facility".

(2) If so, are charges applied to its use by lessees and what are they.

(3) Are commercial charges applied to some leases relating to the site and if so, why is this the case.

(4) If the Watson High School site is not a community facility, what is its status.

Mr Corbell: The answer to Mr Cornwell's question is:

1. The Watson site is not a "community facility".

2. Although the site is not a community facility, under a Licence Agreement sponsored by the previous Government with the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE), a fee of 10 per cent of the sub licence fees is applied and payable to the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). In 2001-2, this fee was $20,400. The fee will increase to 15 per cent of the sub-licence fees from 1 July 2003.

3. Most of the site is licensed to AIE and the charges levied by AIE on its tenants are intended to reflect a fair market rental. The actual charges vary, depending on the amount and quality of space and the length of the tenancy. The Canberra City Band occupies a small part of the site, the Hall, and is outside this arrangement, as they do not use any of the space licensed to AIE. The Band uses its space for practice and administration, and pays some of the costs of its operation; the balance is paid by CIT under a long-standing agreement dating back around 10 years.

4. The licence issued to AIE by the Territory (represented by CIT) requires that the premises be used for the purposes of conducting activities that lead to the development of the information, multimedia, and communications industries. Other used are permitted, subject to the approval of the Licensor.

The Watson site is totally under the control of CIT and therefore falls solely within the Education portfolio.

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