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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4667 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

the explicit rules that apply in relation to the provision of funds for festivals in this way. Just ignore that; you are the patron; therefore, you trample on the rules."

What I will do in relation to this, as a result of some of the issues that have been revealed in relation to Australia Day and how it is organised in the ACT, particularly in relation to the blatant crossover between the Commonwealth and ACT governments-

Mr Smyth: That's not what the NCA said.

MR STANHOPE: It is the truth. The truth is, of course, that the Commonwealth, in the announcement which the Prime Minister made in July that, yes, the Commonwealth is organising a concert-not in consultation with the ACT government; a unilateral decision made by the Commonwealth to come in and fund, through the NCA, a major concert for Australia Day without consulting with the ACT government, without asking us how this fitted in with our plans to celebrate in this place Australia day-really has created an issue.

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: could I beg your protection against that rabble across the way. I can't hear it.

MR STANHOPE: It is important, Mr Speaker, I think, that we do address the conflict that has been generated by the Commonwealth's involvement and by the unilateral and non-consulted decisions that they have made in relation to Australia Day.

Into the future-and I hope that there is something that we can do in relation to Australia Day 2004, but certainly for Australia Day 2005 and onwards-let me assure members and the Canberra community that the government will be putting in place a whole new range of proposals and processes for the funding and celebration of Australia Day, including, I am sure, open processes in relation to the tendering of support for the conduct and management of events on Australia Day.

I look forward, certainly, to working cooperatively with the Commonwealth so that we can avoid instability so that the ACT community, through its elected representatives, can celebrate Australia Day in a way that the people of Canberra would wish to see Australia Day celebrated.

Draft water strategy

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Chief Minister in his capacity as Minister for Environment.

Mr Smyth: Oh, here is a first.

MR SPEAKER: Order, members!

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. On 21 November, the minister released a draft strategy for sustainable water resource management in the ACT, "Think water, act water".

Mrs Dunne: Wow! They respond to our agenda, as usual.

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