Question in NSW Parliament over missing $8m for Mackay Park reveals a conundrum

Legislative Council Hansard – 15 August 2018 (source )


The Hon. LYNDA VOLTZ (15:28): My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts. Given the Premier and the member for Bega jointly announced on 26 March that they would provide $26 million for a new indoor aquatic and cultural centre at Batemans Bay consisting of $18 million for the aquatic centre and $8 million for the arts and cultural facility, where will the $8 million for the arts and cultural component be drawn from?

The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) (15:29): I thank the Hon. Lynda Voltz for her question about a project with which I am familiar.

The Hon. Paul Green: A great project.

The Hon. DON HARWIN: I acknowledge the interjection of the Hon. Paul Green. It is a great project. There is no doubt that the Batemans Bay community strongly supports the project. I will take on notice the aspect of the question about where the arts and cultural component of that is funded. As I informed the House yesterday, people should be aware that the Regional Cultural Fund round two is open. I imagine this project would be eligible but I need to check if there is an existing funding agreement. The project was certainly not funded as part of round one of the Regional Cultural Fund. It is a great project that has the strong support of the member for Bega and I can see why. I will be very happy to get back to the honourable member as quickly as possible.

The PRESIDENT: I will allow the Hon. Lynda Voltz to ask a supplementary question because question time started late because of my announcements.

The Hon. LYNDA VOLTZ (15:31): Will the Minister elucidate his answer in relation to round two of the Regional Cultural Fund? When will round two funding announcements be made?

The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) (15:31): I may have covered this question in my answer yesterday but, if I did not, it is planned that round two announcements will be made before the end of this calendar year. I cannot be more specific at this stage. There was a large number of applications for round one, as honourable members are well aware.

The Hon. Peter Primrose: It is supposed to be a competitive process and you are announcing it already.

The PRESIDENT: The Minister should not be responding to interjections. The Minister has the call.

The Hon. DON HARWIN: There are a large number of regional funds and often good projects in regional New South Wales are eligible to apply to a number of them. There is no particular surprise about that, even if it has an arts and cultural aspect. I am not sure what the interjection was directed towards.

The time for questions has expired. If members have further questions I suggest they place them on notice.

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