Page 1943 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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MS GALLAGHER: Mr Seselja obviously has already left the building for the Senate and did not listen to my last answer to his question. The cost of the balloon was the question that was asked, and that was the figure that was then reported in the Canberra Times. That figure is $172,000. The total contribution that the ACT government has allocated under this project, through the centenary budget, is $300,000. That is for a range of different parts of the project, which are around maintenance, licensing, pilot fees and all of those other—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: All of those additional costs for the centenary year will be met from the centenary budget. I accept—I presume, from the comments that have been made about this—that the opposition is not a fan of the Skywhale. I am taking that, feeling that vibe from across the chamber. But part of the centenary challenge has been to meet a whole range of different interests across the community. For example, the Spin component of the centenary is over $600,000. I know plenty of people who do not like cricket and are upset that $500,000 was spent on the cricket. I have heard arguments of “We’ll only have the whale till the end of this year.” The fireworks lasted under half an hour. These are all open for individual consideration about what is important to you, but the centenary is a broad-based festival of our city and our city’s history, and right back to the founding fathers, when they established the city, they wanted this city not just to be the home of politics but to be the city of arts. And where arts were welcomed—and yes, even if that art is controversial—they wanted this to be a place that was mature enough to engage in that discussion and celebration.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Chief Minister, what recruitment process was used for the design and delivery of this project and what were the terms used?

MS GALLAGHER: As I understand it, that information is available on the procurement website. I have had a look at that because of the interest about the costs of this balloon. It looks to me like it has been a very thorough process. But those documents are available on the procurement website, and I am happy to take any further questions about it.

At the end of the day, the decision was taken, essentially, to have a sponsorship arrangement where we sponsored the owner of the balloon.

Mr Smyth: A sponsorship arrangement?

MS GALLAGHER: Is that a revelation to you, Mr Smyth? I think not only have we established that—

MADAM SPEAKER: Direct your comments through the chair please.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

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