Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2167 ..
(Question No 627)
Ms Dundasasked the Minister for the Arts and Heritage, upon notice:
In relation to Mark "Chopper"Read's performance which began 14 April 2003 at the Canberra Theatre, where the audience paid $44.90 plus booking fee to listen to the spoken work of Mark Read:
(1) Did your office seek legal advice from the Attorney-General's Department as to whether this performance comes under the 'artistic profits' referred to in the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003:
(a) If so, did that advice indicate what assets, if any, should have been restrained of Mark Read"s.
(b) Are you able to table that advice, if not, why not.
(2) Did your office seek legal advice from the Attorney-General's Department as to whether this performance meets the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1991.
(a) If so, did that advice state what assets, if any should have been restrained of Mark Read's.
(3) Whole of Government email no 899 was issued on Monday 14 April that contained the text "Canberra Theatre Centre is part of the Cultural Facilities Corporation and received ACT Government funding to provide the people of the Canberra region with high quality performing arts productions. Performing at Canberra Theatre Centre - "Mark Brandon 'Chopper' Read - Spoken Word". Does this performance meet the criteria of a "high quality performing arts production".
(4) To your knowledge, did the ACT government provide complimentary tickets to any members of the ACT Public Service, including Members of the Legislative Assembly.
Mr Wood: The answer to the member's questions is as follows:
The Canberra Theatre Centre did not seek legal advice prior to the performance of "Chopper"Read - Spoken Word at the Centre as, from its knowledge of the nature of the production and performances of it elsewhere in Australia, it did not anticipate that the production would contravene legal requirements. This has since been confirmed in advice from the ACT Government Solicitor, which addresses the conformity of the production to the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003 and to the Proceeds of Crime Act 1991.
(3) Whilst any assessment of what constitutes a "high quality performing arts production"is necessarily subjective, it is considered that this production falls appropriately within the varied program of performing arts activities presented at the Canberra Theatre Centre. This program seeks to cater to a wide range of audience tastes through a combination of productions presented by the Centre itself, and productions presented by commercial hirers, such as Showcall Pty. Ltd, which hired the Canberra Theatre to present "Chopper"Read - Spoken Word. Income received from commercial hirers also assists the Centre in providing a full range of performing arts activities at its venues.