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Gross mismanagement of Government Funds

By 15 October 2012 86

Public art in canberra
How is it okay for the government to waste so much of our money on Public Art in Canberra?

The “scrap metal” on the Gungahlin drive cost us $750,000 !!!!

Imagine you had $750,000 …… what could you do with it? Surely you could do more than buy a scrap pile of metal? The government should be treating our money as their own and spend it wisely.

I hope the rest of the public pick this up off the signs on the Public Art today.

public art in canberra
[ED. photos sent in by Jess]

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86 Responses to Gross mismanagement of Government Funds
#1
p996911turbo9:16 am, 15 Oct 12

This topic seems to come up all the time on RiotACT.

You know what? If I had as much money as the ACT Government, I probably would spend rather a lot on art.

I don’t think they’re getting good value ($750k should probably buy more than one artwork) but I don’t think it’s such a bad idea.

I also rather like the sculpture you’re referring to.

#2
Bcs9:16 am, 15 Oct 12

This is another disgusting attack on the arts by the ACT Liberals who have no cultural foresight. People didn’t “get” Blue Poles when it was purchased by the NGA in 1973, however it has become a loved icon of Australia’s cultural development. Of course you still don’t have to like it, just as not everyone has to love every piece of public art, but what a boring city this would be if all our public art was just bronze statues of Mal Meninga!

Vibrant cultures need a healthy arts/creative sector, just look anywhere in the world for examples. Get a bit of cultural foresight Liberals, and stop attacking the arts as indulgent or wasteful. Arts are crucial to culture.

#3
Mothy9:41 am, 15 Oct 12

“The government should be treating our money as their own”

Erm, no. Am sure I know what you mean, that funds could be allocated to other government priorities, but that sentence you’ve used means something altogether different, and depending on the individual, could see the city adorned with a bit more art than you seem to expect.

Saw the signs on Gungahlin Drive today (sorry, no photo) and do you know what my first thought was?

Gee – I wonder which party is responsible for that piece of advertising during an election campaign. Wasn’t prepared to go back and look for fine print, name and address on the bottom.

Me personally, I don’t mind a bit of art here and there. The Sheep, the running dogs, the (regularly vandalized) little fat men reading on the stairs in civic for example.

But at the same time I am always surprised that art like this can be bought on the government purse, but hospitals fund raise for neonatal intensive care beds. Yes yes, doing X with the hospital funding budget and knowing you can do Y with fundraising and public appeals is all very logical… but why does the need exist in the first place?

Bcs said :

…but what a boring city this would be if all our public art was just bronze statues of Mal Meninga!

I certainly agree with that.

But I have to wonder at the value attached to “culture” and “cultural foresight”, apparently with disregard to cost, when you don’t have to look far to find someone in need in the ACT.

#4
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:47 am, 15 Oct 12

Are you the person that put the black plastic with crudely painted writing next to the sculpture at the top of Coleman court?
Not doing your party and favours.

#5
jess_8710:01 am, 15 Oct 12

$750,000 for a stack of metal poles sticking out in odd directions?!!!? You have to be joking!!!!!! That is more than the average Canberra house!!!!

#6
jess_8710:04 am, 15 Oct 12

p996911turbo said :

You know what? If I had as much money as the ACT Government, I probably would spend rather a lot on art.

I also don’t really understand this comment. “As much money as the ACT Government”… the ACT Government is in deficit! Maybe this would be justifiable if there was a surplus and the Government was supporting local artists.

#7
Mothy10:06 am, 15 Oct 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Are you the person that put the black plastic with crudely painted writing next to the sculpture at the top of Coleman court?
Not doing your party and favours.

Matches the description of the signs on the GDE this morning.

#8
schmeah10:14 am, 15 Oct 12

Oh well what do we have here, another poster who establishes an account for the sole purpose of election time ranting …

I don’t mind where people have an established account and occasionally post about election policies, events or raise legitimate issues with the ACT Government policies/administration or Liberal happenings but this is just getting ridiculous.

I’m with others who have suggested the Libs should pay the Riot Act advertising monies, instead of just using the forum to have a fat cry about every piece of election junk mail that lands in their mail box ..

Snore x a zillion

#9
brynarose10:27 am, 15 Oct 12

Just out of interest, does anyone know if there is any curatorial process in deciding which artworks are purchased by the ACT government? As in, who is deciding which works to buy? I’m all for public art, however I feel if there is going to be upwards of $750.000 spent on these artworks I would hope that the artworks are carefully considered for purposes of aesthetics and value by people actually involved and knowledgeable in the arts and not just bureaucrats.

I should probably research this more, but if anyone could point me in the right direction to finding out this information I’d really appreciate it.

#10
Duffbowl10:30 am, 15 Oct 12

Can we have the election now, just to stop the various astroturfing party hacks from regurgitating the constant bile of “look at them, they are rubbish”?

And to quote from one of my favourite authors:

‘Multiple exclamation marks,’ he went on, shaking his head, ‘are a sure sign of a diseased mind.’ — Eric

‘And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.’ — Maskerade

Wrongpriorities2012 uses four.
jess_87 uses six and four.
I suggest both of you seek professional help; I believe Mr Pocock may have an appointment or two available :)

#11
virgil9910:31 am, 15 Oct 12

If you, or your group are responsible for these signs, I really don’t know what you are trying to achieve. I saw the one at Yarra Glen this morning. Amateurish, already half fallen down and a blatant risk to road safety. I think should be removed for public safety reasons.
I like the public art. I accept that there is reason for debate, but there is a right way to do this. Ugly black plastic, blowing in the breeze would seem unlikely to contribute to the bigger issue.

#12
p996911turbo10:36 am, 15 Oct 12

jess_87 said :

I also don’t really understand this comment. “As much money as the ACT Government”… the ACT Government is in deficit! Maybe this would be justifiable if there was a surplus and the Government was supporting local artists.

My point was that in the total amount of money spent by the ACT Government, the amount spent on art is not disproportionate or unreasonable.

Whether the government is running in surplus or deficit is a more complex issue than “They’re spending everything on art! Oh noes!” One $750k sculpture will not bring the budget back into surplus.

To suggest that all public artworks should go unfunded because the budget is in deficit is just foolish.

#13
colourful sydney rac11:08 am, 15 Oct 12

*yawn* obvious newbie Liberal Hack, is obvious.

#14
Thumper11:18 am, 15 Oct 12

schmeah said :

Oh well what do we have here, another poster who establishes an account for the sole purpose of election time ranting …

I don’t mind where people have an established account and occasionally post about election policies, events or raise legitimate issues with the ACT Government policies/administration or Liberal happenings but this is just getting ridiculous.

I’m with others who have suggested the Libs should pay the Riot Act advertising monies, instead of just using the forum to have a fat cry about every piece of election junk mail that lands in their mail box ..

Snore x a zillion

+1

And it would seem that the first two posters on this thread are also political blow-ins.

#15
Growling Ferret11:37 am, 15 Oct 12

Party hacks astroturfing one of the more intelligent (generally) and vibrant on line communities in the most educated city in the country doesn’t show much respect for their audience.

A pox on all of them.

#16
colourful sydney rac11:38 am, 15 Oct 12

p996911turbo said :

This topic seems to come up all the time on RiotACT.

You know what? If I had as much money as the ACT Government, I probably would spend rather a lot on art.

I don’t think they’re getting good value ($750k should probably buy more than one artwork) but I don’t think it’s such a bad idea.

I also rather like the sculpture you’re referring to.

Bcs said :

This is another disgusting attack on the arts by the ACT Liberals who have no cultural foresight. People didn’t “get” Blue Poles when it was purchased by the NGA in 1973, however it has become a loved icon of Australia’s cultural development. Of course you still don’t have to like it, just as not everyone has to love every piece of public art, but what a boring city this would be if all our public art was just bronze statues of Mal Meninga!

Vibrant cultures need a healthy arts/creative sector, just look anywhere in the world for examples. Get a bit of cultural foresight Liberals, and stop attacking the arts as indulgent or wasteful. Arts are crucial to culture.

You do your party no credit when you join RA to attack your opponents. PLease go away and get back to being ignored at shopping centres.

thanks

#17
hobo11:38 am, 15 Oct 12

Jeez, come election time this place picks up more astroturf than Lewis Hamilton.

#18
Masquara11:50 am, 15 Oct 12

schmeah said :

Oh well what do we have here, another poster who establishes an account for the sole purpose of election time ranting …

There’s requirement that Canberrans serve a period on Riotact before they contribute to the election debate?

#19
FioBla11:56 am, 15 Oct 12

> Imagine you had $750,000…

Subsidise ACTION buses for 3 days.

#20
Flyinghurts11:56 am, 15 Oct 12

Can anyone actually confirm the exact cost of that “piece of art” on Gungahlin Drive? I’m sorry but I don’t really take messages spray painted on black banners as gospel without any facts to back it up. If I put up a sign that looks like it was put together by a child saying that the Greens are really colourblind commies who sleep with a picture of Karl Marx under their pillow, is everyone going to believe it without any further explanation?

#21
bd8412:23 pm, 15 Oct 12

You need to invest more money in your signs, they had mostly blown over/flailing in the wind when I drove past this morning.

I do agree its a waste of money for what it is, although ironic that they had the foresight to place a heap of scrap metal beside the bridge which would ultimately collapse during construction. If they lose the election, I think the artwork should be renamed in memorial of the government.

#22
HenryBG12:28 pm, 15 Oct 12

Bcs said :

People didn’t “get” Blue Poles when it was purchased by the NGA in 1973, however it has become a loved icon of Australia’s cultural development.

People didn’t “get” the Emperor’s New Clothes, either.

Calling Pollock’s absurdly talentless daub a “loved icon” is going way too far – it’s a monumental piece of 1970′s tat, nothing more, and the arty-farty types are still in denial about their complete lack of taste and discernment over it.

#23
p996911turbo12:32 pm, 15 Oct 12

Thumper said :

And it would seem that the first two posters on this thread are also political blow-ins.

Piss off, I’ve been on here for years. I just don’t post much. And there’s no way I’m associated with any of the pathetic excuses for politicians we have in this territory.

I just happen to like nice things.

#24
HenryBG12:32 pm, 15 Oct 12

p996911turbo said :

” One $750k sculpture will not bring the budget back into surplus.

No, but it would pay for a dozen part-time community nurses. I know what would bring greater benefits to the community, do you?

(Now, if they’d spent that $750,000 on a Canberra artists, thus helping to develop the local art community, I would be a bit more understanding.)

Public art should be funded by philanthropy, not by the general public.

#25
Bcs12:55 pm, 15 Oct 12

Sorry, no political affiliation here either – but I am an artist who is sick of the arts getting trivialised and cheapened by the Libs.

#26
steele_blade1:10 pm, 15 Oct 12

Masquara said :

schmeah said :

Oh well what do we have here, another poster who establishes an account for the sole purpose of election time ranting …

There’s requirement that Canberrans serve a period on Riotact before they contribute to the election debate?

Great idea, I second Masquara’s proposal.

#27
NoImRight1:19 pm, 15 Oct 12

Masquara said :

schmeah said :

Oh well what do we have here, another poster who establishes an account for the sole purpose of election time ranting …

There’s requirement that Canberrans serve a period on Riotact before they contribute to the election debate?

Define your use of the word “contribute”?

#28
cpp1:23 pm, 15 Oct 12

As a voting resident of Canberra I find the political attack on the Arts so deeply offensive. If spending money on the Arts is not a priority then sport shouldn’t be either. I understand that not everybody enjoys art but the same can be said for sport. However, I believe both are so vital to maintaining a balanced, healthy and vibrant society and would hate to see money taken from either, in fact, they both could use more money. The Arts enrich our lives not only with public sculptures but through music, dance, theatre and many festivals, attack the sculptures and you risk taking away all other areas of the Arts that are already under a lot of pressure and resourced.

I love my children’s responses to all of the public art throughout this city, it is really quite remarkable and surprising how they view, interpret and emotionally respond to these, highlighting the importance of art in our society. A child’s experience is a window into how we can all try to see the world around us. I have not witnessed a negative response to the works by a child only inquisitiveness.

I also love that visitors to our city can meander or tour throughout our whole city and stumble upon amazing artworks. This pulls them out of the major institutions and opens up our beautiful city, to not only see art, but to experience Canberra in a way that breaks through the perception that Canberra is a boring, ugly and unfriendly place. There are some works made by Canberra artists but why can’t we enjoy works from artists around the world?

I love art and I vote!

#29
cpp1:27 pm, 15 Oct 12

The Arts enrich our lives not only with public sculptures but through music, dance, theatre and many festivals, attack the sculptures and you risk taking away all other areas of the Arts that are already under a lot of pressure and resourced.

Just to clarify, I meant to say under resourced.

#30
Mysteryman1:33 pm, 15 Oct 12

cpp said :

As a voting resident of Canberra I find the political attack on the Arts so deeply offensive. If spending money on the Arts is not a priority then sport shouldn’t be either. I understand that not everybody enjoys art but the same can be said for sport. However, I believe both are so vital to maintaining a balanced, healthy and vibrant society and would hate to see money taken from either, in fact, they both could use more money. The Arts enrich our lives not only with public sculptures but through music, dance, theatre and many festivals, attack the sculptures and you risk taking away all other areas of the Arts that are already under a lot of pressure and resourced.

Except that sport has direct links to fitness, improved health, and preventing obesity and the associated illnesses. Art does not.

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