Page 3138 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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return to Canberrans and all Australians a facility which was the vision of the late Sir Sidney Nolan.

It is also most interesting to note that the 2004 feasibility study into the Nolan Gallery recommended:

Expansion of the Nolan Gallery building, to incorporate additional facilities that would enhance the overall visitor experience and understanding of the works, and that would ensure that these works are cared for more appropriately.

The recommendation went on to say:

This option would also need to implement measures to provide visitors to the Lanyon Estate with improved introductory information.

It recommended that it should “incorporate a visitor information orientation centre for Lanyon”. This was a visionary recommendation which, if accepted and implemented in the context of the historic places major project, would have created a holistic experience for visitors to Lanyon in a precinct which would surely be the envy of any community in Australia. It would have given the Nolan Gallery its rightful position, as Lady Nolan put in her submission to the 2004 study, as an important part of the modern history of Lanyon. It would also be a fitting celebration of the 30th anniversary next year of the opening of the Nolan Gallery. It is regrettable that the government could not share that vision. I hope the minister will heed the estimates committee’s recommendations in relation to this unique and iconic place in Canberra.

Finally, notwithstanding my remarks about the Nolan Gallery, by which I stand, I take a moment to compliment the work of the Cultural Facilities Corporation and its staff. The corporation has very diverse roles, from putting on concerts and exhibitions to running educational and community activities, hiring out venues, maintaining historical places, managing construction projects, reviewing the adequacy of the ACT’s cultural facilities and associated infrastructure, developing and nurturing partnerships with the business community and sister cultural organisations and caring for and developing the Civic Square precinct.

Any organisation that can deliver on such a wide range of duties with all the complexities, nuances and idiosyncrasies that this involves deserves commendation. The Cultural Facilities Corporation, under the leadership of board chair, Professor Don Aitkin, and the CEO, Ms Harriet Elvin, delivers on all of these activities with a great deal of professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication. Together, as a team, the people of the Cultural Facilities Corporation do a great deal to enrich to lives of Canberrans, to encourage and develop our interest in the arts and heritage and to create opportunities that embrace our community as a whole and that are accessible to everyone. I am sure the people of Canberra do not truly appreciate what goes on behind the scenes at the Cultural Facilities Corporation to deliver all those benefits to the community. It is analogous to the vision of ducks swimming on a pond.

I am sure that all Canberrans appreciate what they experience at Lanyon, the Canberra Theatre, the Playhouse, Mugga Mugga, Calthorpes House and the Canberra Museum and Gallery, and the ambience of Civic Square. I commend the work of the Cultural Facilities Corporation.

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