The true cost of Skywhale and do you want to pay it? [With poll]

johnboy 10 May 2013 84

The Liberals Jeremy Hanson is working up his outrage at the true cost of Skywhale.

In a Public Accounts Committee hearing today, it was revealed the true costs to the ACT for the Skywhale for the Centenary of Canberra will be $300,000. ACT Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson asked today why again it is only after questioning by the opposition and the media that the full truth is uncovered.

“In a week that Katy Gallagher called for a doubling of ACT politicians, this $300,000 extravagance again shows out of touch the ACT Government is with Canberrans’ priorities.

“It was also revealed during the committee hearing that whilst Canberra taxpayers will pay $300,000 for the hot air balloon, it is not actually owned by the Territory and has a design life of only 100 flights, with only one of those flights planned for Canberra so far.

“Whilst we respect the artist, it would have been nice to see something that that is visually more symbolic to the ACT and better represents our 100 year birthday,” concluded Mr Hanson.

Meanwhile the CanMeme guys and girls have been having a field day:


As luck would have it in this Brumby free week we reviewed Whale Ale in this week’s rugby podcast in case you’ve not had enough of all things Cetacean.

And now to the poll:

The Skywhale

View Results

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UPDATE: And with thanks again to CanMeme we should note the Canberra launch of the controversial beast will be at 9am tomorrow morning (Sat 11 May)


Further Update: Enjoy twitter’s take through #skywhalemyths .

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84 Responses to The true cost of Skywhale and do you want to pay it? [With poll]
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OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 8:24 am 20 May 13

Jim Jones said :

I only like art when it looks like something I already know, and it should be cheap.

I’d suggest staying in a cheap motel or dining at McDonalds. They have lovely art that is guaranteed not to offend you. They’ve even got those gorgeous paintings of mountains with snow covered peaks and reflections on a lake. Now that’s real art. Your friends Dazza and Shazza will be really impressed if you flog some of that art and put it up in your pool room.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:35 am 14 May 13

I only like art when it looks like something I already know, and it should be cheap.

RadioVK RadioVK 8:58 am 14 May 13

DrKoresh said :

I’m beginning to like it purely because of how angry it’s making people.

Hell yes! All the wowsers starting to foam at the mouth and go red in the face is worth $300,000 right there.

All hail the Skywhale!

slashdot slashdot 10:56 pm 13 May 13

Typical public servants, happy to spend other peoples money on s***. Let me ask you all this, if that were your $300,000 would you spend it on this?

fabforty fabforty 4:51 pm 12 May 13

blind said :

$300,000 = $0.82 per Canberran SSSSSSSHIIT

Guys did you hear they actually TORE DOWN THE HOSPITAL to pay for this?

We NO LONGER HAVE A MEDICAL PROFESSION the Centenary have KILLED everyone over 50

The roads have been REMOVED ENTIRELY we now have to WALK also we must be BAREFOOT in honour of the Skywhale


I’m sure the good people struggling to keep Pegasus Riding School for the Disabled might have a bit of outrage.

Deref Deref 2:13 pm 12 May 13

I’m so happy to pay my $2 for it that I’ll pay $4, and someone who doesn’t like it can have their money back. 🙂

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 12:46 pm 12 May 13

Ben_Dover said :

EvanJames said :

FXST01 said :

Where can I buy a Skywhale t-shirt? And maybe a hat as well.

Hats! Oh please let there be hats.

I’m designing one. It will be broad brimmed and topped with huge white seagull sh!t style plastic excrescence. It will bear the logo;

“I’m a Canberra taxayer, I was crapped on by the Tittycarp!”

I want one! And one of those Light Rail Not Light Whale posters I saw on CanMeme too!

If it had whimsy and humour, and was taking an active and well-organised part in the year’s festivities, it could have been great.
But it’s . . it’s . . tits! There’s really no avoiding them. The more I think about it the more I think it’s a joke at our expense. The website puts us in our place, sponsors logo at the bottom. We’re supposed to give it a chance but we aren’t being given much opportunity to see it. Yesterday morning the Canberra100 website was still saying it would be tethered at the gallery till 12 (btw it’s always weather-permitting, I get that, but why couldn’t it have been on display all day, it turned out to be a perfect still day, it could have been a great day out instead of a self-indulgent exercise). Figuring it might be back from its last-minute official sort of maiden flight we drove past at around 11.30 and it was nowhere in sight. There’s still no information about tomorrow’s flight, the one that was originally announced as a flight. But yesterday’s Canberra100 page has now removed the line “It will be tethered adjacent to the entrance of the National Gallery from 9am – 12pm”, I wonder how long after the fact they did that? They might want to fix the time shown at the top too. And they might want to fix the link to the sky whale website, it doesn’t work. And offtopic but they might want to fix a few other things about the way that website functions.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 11:37 am 12 May 13

Skywhale joins United Australia Party and announces intention to stand for the Senate (“I’ve had a long spiritual association with Canberra etc. etc.”) – tick, tick, tick – no, can’t have that (might clash with the Titanic) – membership revoked.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 9:33 am 12 May 13

EvanJames said :

FXST01 said :

Where can I buy a Skywhale t-shirt? And maybe a hat as well.

Hats! Oh please let there be hats.

I’m designing one. It will be broad brimmed and topped with huge white seagull sh!t style plastic excrescence. It will bear the logo;

“I’m a Canberra taxayer, I was crapped on by the Tittycarp!”

EvanJames EvanJames 9:15 pm 11 May 13

FXST01 said :

Where can I buy a Skywhale t-shirt? And maybe a hat as well.

Hats! Oh please let there be hats.

Masquara Masquara 3:54 pm 11 May 13

Deref said :

poetix said :

Cetaceous floater
chewing soft cud of sky krill
blubbered cumulus

😀 Post of the month.

Yep – JB we need a “hipster flanny Mully” on alternate wins as opposed to “deadbeat flanny Mully”. Not based on post numbers, but on quality!

birder birder 2:30 pm 11 May 13

What a freaking waste of money. If this had been unveiled before the election, it would have tempted me to vote for the liberals. This is NOT what I want my taxpayer money going towards. In addition, it makes me sick to listen to the tone-deaf justifications from the Centenary staff. There is no humility, no shame, no ability to listen and say, “Maybe we didn’t get this quite right.” This just compounds their complete refusal to admit that the Centenary celebration on the lake bombed. In what way does this whale represent the centenary? How can you justify $300k when Canberra doesn’t even own it? No wonder most people in Australia hate Canberra – it’s not just the asinine choice to waste $300k on this idiotic balloon that we don’t even own, but the complete refusal to think anything other than they did a really great job on – despite the massive feedback against it. Like I said, it’s enough to make you vote liberal next time around.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 11:41 am 11 May 13

I had a dream last night.

Kate Carnell “allegedly” gets on the wine, takes Skywhale for a spin, loses control of it, crashes it into Telstra Tower and then “allegedly” flees the accident scene in a taxi.

The ‘artist’ behind this is obviously taking the piss out of Canberra and has simply inflicted more of the same drivel that she’s been designing for the past 20 years on us – at at our expense – while probably laughing all the way to the bank. And what’s with the old ‘we pay for it, yet the artist owns it’ rubbish being acceptable at all?

Yes, I know $300+ thousand isn’t a lot of money in the overall scheme of things, but added to the rest of the wastage this government has been inflicting on Canberra over the past however many years, it all adds up over time – and is money that could have been used to fund something worthwhile that makes this city better for ALL Canberrans.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 11:39 am 11 May 13

Another bite of this oversized cherry to say:

1. Hats off to the clever people at CanMeme – it would be interesting to see the ones they chose not to share with the rest of us….

2. As publicly funded gestures go, this is a classic in the finest ACT traditions – just the right combination of WTF?! with the expenditure of an amount of public funds which is sufficient to be provocative, but without quite providing immediate and incontestable grounds for the tarring and feathering and/or hounding from public office of those responsible.

3. Whale? – it’s a turtle in cuttlefish drag.

Flossie Flossie 10:22 am 11 May 13

And I understand the comments about it being a mere 82 cents per Canberran. But in my household, if we put our funds together we get $4.10. We could buy a coffee for a mentally anguished young person with that. It would matter, it would be a fine thing to do. But when you pool all those 82 cents across all of Canberra you get a sum that has the potential to be meaningfully beneficial in the long term. So decisions about what is done with that kind of money collected from the community have a real ethical context.

Flossie Flossie 10:16 am 11 May 13

From an article in the CT:

Piccinini also defended the balloon’s relation to the capital, stating that while it was ”not actually a work to celebrate Canberra”, the piece and the city were both artificial creations depicting something natural.
So, we paid for it, we got no employment benefit as it was constructed in the UK, we don’t own it, we don’t get any say in where it is exhibited, and its not a celebration of canberra at all. Right, I’ve got it. It’s all clear to me now. Hurrah Moby Tits.

*stabs self with a spork*

miz miz 8:08 am 11 May 13

Anyone got a spud gun???!

AAMC AAMC 11:44 pm 10 May 13

Does no one else see the potential for a Guinness world record “Motor Boat”??

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 10:59 pm 10 May 13

Land Rights for Inflatable Gay Whales!

And we’ve always known that Jeremy has an issue with whales, and I once saw him look at his watch during the Monstro scene in Pinocchio, and besides this works out to be only one cappuccino per Canberran per Olympiad, so what’s your problem Jeremy – hmmmm?

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow……

rosscoact rosscoact 10:44 pm 10 May 13

BelcoMan said :

CanberraMelon said :

vaguely said :

CanberraMelon said :

I love that the Skywhale is generating so much interest….the more people talk about it, the better the legend of the Skywhale becomes!

Discussion doesn’t make it any less s***.

It’s a piece of art…challenge yourself and take a step outside your comfort zone

Then you, and the other 2 people who like it, pay for it!

The continuing ability of the pollies to not understand the difference between people laughing at us rather than with us, still astounds me.

We are. They diverted our taxes from roads and sensible things to this. And we’re happy about it.

They diverted your taxes from arts to filling in potholes and cleaning barbeques. Happy now that everything is nicely aligned with what you agree with?

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