Page 1418 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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MR BARR: No, and as I indicated in my initial response, the amount of redevelopment that was allowed was significantly less than the amount that was sought and the amount that the committee recommended. That was the subject of this rather complex suggestion from the committee that a bond be put up and a range of things occur that were just not possible under the legislative structure.

That is why the minister of the day, Mr Corbell, in his government response did not support that recommendation, because it was not practical. It was not practical. The opposition has no substantive point here. They have nothing constructive to add to this issue. This is opposition for opposition’s sake. It is classic ACT Liberal Party—

Mr Seselja: I raise a point of order. The question was very specifically about the contradiction between what Mr Barr said—

Mr Corbell: He is answering the question well and truly.

Ms Gallagher: He has answered that.

Mr Corbell: You just don’t like it.

Mr Seselja: No, he is not. He is talking about us. It was a very specific question and I ask you to direct him to be relevant to that question.

Ms Gallagher: He has been.

Mr Corbell: He is entirely relevant.

MR SPEAKER: The point of order is upheld, Mr Barr. I think it would be useful to return to the specific question.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I answered that question with a “no”. I am now elaborating on my answer and making the obvious point here, Mr Speaker, that a constructive way forward would be for the proponent—the owner of the facility, Mr Turco—to waive the debt liability in rent that Deakin Swimming Ltd have accrued, to not charge them any further rent and invest in his swimming pool. That is what should happen. Mr Turco should invest in his swimming pool and what I will do is ensure that there is maximum pressure on Mr Turco to do just that.


MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the minister for arts. Can the minister tell the Assembly how the financial crisis is affecting Canberra’s arts and cultural sector and what steps the government is taking to ensure it is protected, particularly in the medium to long term?

MR STANHOPE: I do not have any specific information to date on the current effect or likely effect of the global financial crisis on the arts sector but certainly it will be affected as people change the way in which they direct their discretionary expenditure

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