Page 5144 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

about us that we did not support X because we voted against the budget. It is very unfortunate. Again, we are seeing the minister use words in such a way that gives the impression that they are feeding lines to Megalo. I would be interested to know what else they are feeding to Megalo to make this a divisive issue. I am putting it on the record. I am not playing one side off against another. I do not have a fully formed view about what is the best way forward for the Kingston arts precinct.

I want to keep our options open so that we do not mess it up for the future and have experts come in and look at the issues. I will echo what Ms Le Couteur said. I am not an expert in acoustics, but people that I know whose opinions that I value, who are musicians and experienced in music performance, say to me that the acoustics of the Fitters Workshop for particular musical performances are extraordinary.

I have experienced it, and other people have experienced it. People say to me it is extraordinary. Peter Sculthorpe has said it is extraordinary. Many other people have said that it is extraordinary. But Minister Burch does not know because Minister Burch and her predecessor will not even test it. They will not have the test done. This is the real problem. If it is as good as people say, it would be vandalism if we broke it. I am not prepared to sign up, sight unseen, ear unheard, to the vandalism that this minister is proposing to sign up to.

I am very concerned about this and I am concerned about the arrogance of this government. Ms Le Couteur and I had a discussion this morning. She said, “We don’t really need to say that the government shouldn’t spend any of this public works money until the committee reports because there will probably be an appeal and that will hold it up.” I am actually concerned that there will not be an appeal because this government will call it in. I am putting on the record now that the Canberra Liberals will take a very dim view if there is a call-in of the development application in relation to the Fitters Workshop to try and circumvent the work of the standing committee. I am putting it on the record that, if it does, we will be bringing it back, because that would be a clear circumventing of the will of this Assembly.

I do not want to see us go down this path. Ms Hunter is right: we should not need to be here. The minister could have agreed to the recommendations of the estimates committee. The previous minister could have agreed to the calls of the musicians. They did not say, “Give us the Fitters Workshop.” They said, “Let us consider the merits of the Fitters Workshop.” If the scientists and the sound engineers come back and say, “It really isn’t all that good,” and the arts facilities managers say, “Megalo—we’ll punch a hole in the side of it and we’ll build an annex off it and that’s the best possible use you can have”—if the experts tell us that—we will sign up to it.

But we know from the documents that I have received under the Freedom of Information Act, which the committee will receive, that not even the arts administrators believe that in their heart of hearts. It is only Jon Stanhope who thought this was a good idea. There is no paper trail that shows that, as the arts minister, Jon Stanhope thought this through. There is nothing in the paper trail that showed that this minister thought about anything except, “Well, Jon thought it was a good idea, so I’d better do it.” She said in her speech that Megalo was identified as a possible tenant to create synergies with the glass house.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video