Page 5143 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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The music community is saying that it is—that it is an incredibly wonderful space for having live music, particularly classical music and its chorale. We need to test that, we need to check it, and we need to look at the heritage bits. We need to get this right. It is unfortunate we are here today. If the government had done a proper consultation process at the beginning we would not be doing this at this point in the process. Really, that should have been done and good decisions should have been made based on good information and evidence.

I support Ms Le Couteur’s amendments to Mrs Dunne’s motion. I hope that those in the community, particularly Megalo, do understand why the Greens have taken this position today. It has been a hard one, I can tell you. Many hours, and many hours last night, were put into going over this question. This is not something we came to lightly. It is fraught. It has involved quite a bit of emotional energy, because we do know the impact that this is going to have on an organisation that we hold in such high esteem. Again, it is just very unfortunate that the government did not do its job properly and we are here today.

Amendments agreed to.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question now is that the motion, as amended, be agreed to.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.43): I thank Ms Le Couteur and Ms Hunter for their spirited words of support for this motion. I think that it really can be encapsulated in this way: we are here today, in the words of Ms Le Couteur, because the arts community is at loggerheads, and this should not have happened; we are here today, in the words of Ms Hunter, because the government did not do its job properly.

It is a fraught issue. Ms Hunter is right; this is a fraught issue. What we have seen here today is an attempt by Ms Burch as the minister to pit the print makers against the music makers. This is not what we are about. This is not what I am about. This is not what the Greens are about, quite clearly. But the government have done such a bad job of this that now the only thing that they can do is demonise someone.

I have not received any correspondence from Ms Alder. When the minister said that I would, I went through my emails. I also checked to see whether it had ended up in the junk email or something like that. But I did receive a letter from a number of board members of Megalo, and they have a very strong case. I notice the words that Ms Alder used, which were read out by the minister, that they worked in good faith with the government. I ask the question: did the government reciprocate? Has the government negotiated in good faith with Megalo? There are very mixed messages going out. Here today the minister is saying, “Megalo is in urgent need of certainty in relation to its accommodation,” but in estimates they said they will not be there by July next year.

Has the minister articulated that to Megalo? I do not think she has. I heard some lines in the letter that I hope were not fed to Megalo by the government to draw attention to the fact that the Greens have supported the capital works expenditure because they voted for the budget. It is a very political, very Labor line because they keep saying

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