Page 3690 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 26 August 2009
This government-supported activity is complemented by a range of community-based initiatives that have contributed to arts activity in Belconnen. The Belconnen Festival, which regularly receives ACT government assistance, is becoming an increasingly vibrant community festival. I anticipate that the new arts centre will be a springboard that will allow the festival to continue to grow.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?
MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Would the minister please inform members of the planning process in the development of Belconnen Arts Centre. I am sure that members opposite—Mrs Dunne and Mr Coe in particular, who are both members for Ginninderra—might be interested in a second answer, given that they were too busy talking in regard to the first.
MR STANHOPE: I think it is relevant to acknowledge that the Belconnen community has been deeply and quite intimately involved in the development of the arts centre since the facility was first proposed. The community has worked closely with the government to make the centre a reality and to ensure that it meets the community’s needs and wishes. A group of community members worked for many years under the banner of the Belconnen Cultural Planning Group to discuss their priorities for the cultural development of Belconnen. The group’s thinking built on the activities taking place at the Belconnen community centre, at Strathnairn arts centre and at the University of Canberra.
Work to scope and plan for the centre has ramped up over the past six years and has involved intensive collaboration with artists and community stakeholders. In 2003, there was a study of Belconnen arts facilities. In the following year, the government embarked on dedicated and extensive community consultation towards the development of the new centre. This involved the establishment of two advisory groups comprising local artists and community stakeholders. The resulting building therefore reflects the clearly identified need for an arts centre in Belconnen and the specific arts and cultural needs of the Belconnen community.
It is in that regard that the establishment of the Belconnen Arts Centre is an important capital investment by the ACT government and a fantastic addition to the range of community facilities in the Belconnen town centre.
Department of Territory and Municipal Services—strategic budget review
MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and relates to the strategic budget review of the Department of Territory and Municipal Services of 9 December 2008. The review reveals that ACT Libraries has developed recommendations around alternative fee structures. Minister, will you rule out the introduction of additional charges for ACT library users?
MR STANHOPE: I indicated in a debate earlier today on a matter dealing with TAMS that I expected at least once a day Mr Coe to ask me to rule in or out of a