Page 3559 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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Mr Seselja interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: The first time I became aware that it had a crack in it was in 1980 as I walked along it. At least I know where it is. I have to say for the record that quite a number of people have emailed my office saying, “You have taken away the footpath. What are you going to do about it?” My office has advised those people, each and every one of them, by return email, under my signature, not on my behalf by an adviser. I have received a considerable number of emails in return saying, “Thanks very much. It’s really good that you are getting on and doing something about it.”

There are hundreds of kilometres of paths in this town. From time to time stretches of them become a higher priority for replacement than others. Let me be quite clear about this. This path is to be replaced. It will be replaced within existing resources.

MR SESELJA: I ask a supplementary question. Minister, was the decision to construct a new path made before or after the old path was removed?

MR HARGREAVES: That is a really odd question coming from a really odd person. I am having difficulty with it. All of the paths in the ACT are assessed over a period of time. They are either maintained or removed, depending on the extent to which they are unserviceable. You will find grinding on some of the paths, rather than actual replacing of them. Some are such that they need to be totally replaced.

This particular path, as I have already indicated, was straight onto a soil base and not onto a granular base. It had to be replaced. The decision to replace it was made the moment we knew that it was unsafe. The question that was unresolved is exactly when it would be replaced. The decision has been taken. Instead of running around the place trying to find something wrong, perhaps Mr Seselja ought to congratulate the Department of Urban Services for identifying and fixing it in the first place.

Arts funding

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for the arts. As members are well aware, the Stanhope government is a great supporter of the arts. The government has announced a number of important initiatives to promote the community’s enjoyment of the arts, none more significant than the development of the glassworks in the old Kingston power station. Can the minister provide the Assembly with an update of progress on this important contribution to the territory’s cultural landscape?

MR STANHOPE: There certainly is no doubt that the government is a great supporter of the arts. I am very pleased to be given the opportunity today to speak on the matter. I think Canberra is very fortunate to have a most active and vibrant arts and cultural life. The government is very proud to be able to play a role in supporting that aspect of the city. I agree that a number of very important initiatives have been introduced by the government to promote the community’s enjoyment of the arts. None currently is more significant than the glass centre in the former Kingston powerhouse.

The Kingston powerhouse, as members would know, has the distinction of being the oldest public building in Canberra, although ironically—I guess, to match the original

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