Page 349 - Week 01 - Thursday, 14 February 2008

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1. There is no formal taskforce but a series of discussions happening at a variety of levels. Earlier this year I convened a lunchtime stakeholder meeting to discuss issues in relation to both the School of Music and the School of Art. In attendance were representatives from the ANU, my department and leaders of the visual arts and music sectors. In parallel with this discussion was the ACT Government’s review of its Funding Agreement with the ANU for the Community Outreach Program. This review was completed in June 2007, and has informed my decision on the future of the funding agreement. The ANU has been informed of my decision and I expect to make a public announcement shortly.

2. There are no formal terms of reference for the various discussions beyond my Government’s plans to distribute arts funding, including that relating to the ANU, in an equitable manner and that delivers tangible outcomes for the ACT’s arts community.

3. The Government’s review of the Funding Agreement with the ANU was completed in June 2007. One of the key outcomes of the review was the need for there to be a strategic framework. The ANU has agreed with this recommendation. In order to prepare a strategic framework, the ANU has agreed to participate in a working group, which will be convened by my department. The ANU has advised that it is available to participate in the working group from February 2008 onwards.

4. A portion of what is now Section 21 City – but was then known as Block 6 Section 63 Acton – was held by the ANU under a perpetual lease. (This land was opposite Toad Hall.) The ANU agreed to give this land to the Territory in return for acquiring a portion of Territory land in the general area now occupied by the Music School.

Block 6 Section 63 Acton was acquired by the Territory at no cost. At present, the land is used for temporary demountable buildings that house some of the former ROCKS residents.

The ANU is currently constructing a 550-bed student residence on Block 4 Section 21 City which is adjacent to the above land. Block 4 of Section 51 was sold to the ANU in July 2007 as part of the ANU City West Precinct Deed. The land was sold for market value.

All blocks sold to the ANU under the Precinct Deed are sold at market value as required by the Deed and Disallowable Instrument DI2005 – 44.

5. The ROCKS tenants have never had permanent accommodation and never had formal leases from the Territory. They were allowed by past ACT Governments to occupy disused ANU huts pending the future development of the sites. For many years, the area was very run-down and insufficiently integrated into the City.

The Precinct Deed that was negotiated by the Territory and the ANU in 2004 stipulates that existing occupants of the Precinct may remain on the unleased Territory land they occupy until the ANU seeks to purchase the land. At that time, arrangements – as agreed between the Territory and the ANU – must be made to provide suitable accommodation for any existing occupant.

In line with these provisions, the ANU has made arrangements to house some of the former ROCKS tenants in temporary accommodation on Section 21 City. The standard of this accommodation is far superior to their previous accommodation.

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