Page 5142 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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It is incumbent upon the minister to guarantee that they will have accommodation. If it is of a temporary nature, she needs to be clear on that. It is a terrible thing to be leaving an organisation not knowing what is happening. She seems to be saying that it is all everybody else’s fault. As of June next year this new place would not have been ready. So some sort of arrangement has to be put in place and you are going to have to guarantee that with Megalo. It is so unfortunate.

Megalo is a fantastic organisation. I have known Megalo since its very early days when it was housed up at the old Ainslie Village. It has worked with many people in our community. It has some fantastic programs. It is an organisation that the Greens are totally committed to supporting. It is unfortunate we are here today. But this process should have been done properly and the proper consultation should have gone on. The government has had talks with Megalo and there have been talks around consultation over the last three years—and that is great—but unfortunately the government neglected to talk to other members of the community to ensure that the full picture had been taken into account before decisions were made.

Another issue that I need to address relates to the minister talking about the master planning process and saying, “Here is a very large consultation going on with the community.” Ms Le Couteur clearly stated that there is a master planning process going on, and that is great—we support that—but let us be clear that at the meeting which Ms Le Couteur said that she attended the people there were told the Fitters Workshop was not part of the consultation: “We’re not discussing it. It’s not part of it. We’re talking about the other parts of the Kingston area and the Kingston Foreshore. We’re not talking about this particular precinct.”

So to try and put across this idea that there is some comprehensive, wide-ranging master planning that includes this area is just not the case. It simply is not the case. I think it is important to put on the record that there is a lot of muddying of what is going on here. It is very unfortunate that we are here today talking about sending this off to a committee. I do feel for Megalo. We need to get a government guarantee that their accommodation needs are going to be looked after while the processes are underway. It is going to be the result of today that there will be an inquiry that will report back in March of next year. But, remember, there is also the possibility that this could go to ACAT as well, which will also hold it up by several months. That was always in the mix of things.

It is important that the minister come out and guarantee that accommodation. The inquiry will give other members of the community who feel that they have had no voice in this discussion the chance to come forward. It will finally bring in some expertise, some experts to look at what is the best option. At the end of the day, there will have to be options. Megalo is going to have to be housed in a facility that meets its needs. We are also going to have to look at future venues that we need across this city for performing arts and for music. That is very clear as well. But this at least will give us the opportunity to get in some experts.

Mrs Dunne mentioned in her speech that the acoustics have not been checked; nobody has gone in to check whether or not this is a particularly special place acoustically.

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