Page 1944 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, cease interjecting.

MS GALLAGHER: I know Mr Smyth’s fascination with all things ballooning and flying, but at the end of the day we did not want to own the balloon. We do not believe that we have an ongoing need to have the Skywhale in the ACT’s ownership. It is a part of the festival of the centenary of Canberra, and once that agreement expires we hope the Skywhale lives a long and happy life and yes, we hope that she comes back and visits us from time to time in the short life expectancy that the Skywhale has.

Mr Hanson: Is it a she or is it an it? Does it live?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Hanson, you have a look at the Skywhale. I presume it is a she.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Gentleman has a supplementary question. Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how have the centenary balloon and other promotions raised the profile of the ACT across Australia and internationally?

MS GALLAGHER: There is no doubt that the Skywhale has brought considerable attention to the centenary program, and that was one of the original goals—to raise awareness about Canberra and the centenary not just nationally but internationally, and I think the Skywhale is one element of the program that has done that.

There are mixed views about the Skywhale. I am not pretending there are not. My own position on the Skywhale has changed the longer I have had to admire her in her natural habitat. I do think that there is a role for provocative art in a centenary celebration. The commitment from the ACT taxpayers to the centenary program has been appropriated through this place at $24½ million. The Skywhale, no matter how important she is, is a very small part of the overall centenary program; but she is an important part. I think Canberrans will remember the Skywhale in years to come as a good part of the centenary program.


MRS JONES: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in regard to the Skywhale balloon, referred to in some parts as hindenboob, does the agreement with the operator and artist allow them to receive payments other than those included in the $300,000 cost cap when the balloon is presented external to the ACT centenary celebrations? Will the operator and artist make further money from the balloon other than at ACT government events?

MS GALLAGHER: Potentially, the intellectual property of the Skywhale remains with the artist, as it should. I think that is quite standard. That is the same with the symphony and the ballet. Their creative artists retain that intellectual property. In terms of any commercial opportunities outside of the centenary year, this is probably

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