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Greens displeased by limited Kingston consultation

By johnboy - 22 August 2011 3

The Greens Caroline Le Couteur is most displeased by Andrew Barr’s announcement on the consultation surrounding the Kingston Arts Precinct.

Particularly she really wants to re-open the use of the twice coveted Fitter’s Workshop.

“This consultation is disrespectful to the community. If the Government has made up its mind it should not waste the community’s time asking them what they want when it’s a done deal.

“This Government doesn’t understand that community engagement works the other way around, that the people who will use the arts precinct should be consulted before such decisions are made.

“It’s this rough-shod top-down approach is what has lead to the divisions in the artistic community over the use of the Fitters Workshop, which could easily have been avoided.

“The Government is even having trouble taking its own commissioned advice. The Conroy report details a proposed extension to the Fitters Workshop required to accommodate Megalo’s move to the building, and describes the specific location of the extension as ‘vital’ to the synergy of the precinct. Days after the release of the report, a development application for this extension was lodged with ACTPLA that completely ignored the advice about the location.

“The Kingston Arts Precinct is an exciting prospect, but the back to front community consultation processes have made this a far more difficult and controversial project than it should be,” Ms Le Couteur said.

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3 Responses to
Greens displeased by limited Kingston consultation
FreeRange 11:31 am 27 Aug 11

Yes indeed, Caroline Le Couteur’s displeasure is driven by her undeclared interest. Her sister Penny Le Couteur is on the Board of the Song Company. For those of you who have been following this story, the Song Company is lead by Roland Peelman, Artistic Director who is very much at the front of the rabble set to overturn the ACT Government’s decision to renovate the Fitter’s workshop as viable venue for the visual arts. The Song Company and other key music groups are keen to keep the space as a viable venue for themselves, although a majority of the Canberra music community agree that the Fitter’s workshop is not a perfect venue for all types of music and performance. As anyone with a keen eye will notice, much of Le Couteur’s press releases about the Fitter’s workshop read like they have been written by the song company’s PR person. Obviously the Greens are not above politicising self interest after all.

housebound 2:43 pm 23 Aug 11

And here I was thinking the politician was supporting the Kingston area because of enlightened self-interest coming from living nearby.

Dymphna 1:41 pm 23 Aug 11

The Kingston Foreshore will never be great if it remains a political football. Parties should be bipartisan when it comes to the arts or nothing will ever get done. Le Couteur is not interested in real planning nor has she any interest in developing the visual arts in this community. Its all just a game to her about looking like she’s friends with everyone for those extra votes. She says one thing and then does another. Isn’t her sisiter one of the musician’s who wants the Fitters? Who are the turkey’s advising this woman? Do they even have arts degrees or experience running organisation in the performing and visual arts? I doubt it. I think there needs to be more transparency in this community and people should reveal their true agendas.

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