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Darren Brown
61 followers -
Advocate, New Dad, Dreamer, Writer, Entrepreneur
Advocate, New Dad, Dreamer, Writer, Entrepreneur

61 followers
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Long term GO readers might recall Premier splurges on Sculptures for Dumas House – the article we published in May last year after receiving some information suggesting that on behalf of the tax-payer, the Premier had agreed to buy some artwork from the highly popular Sculptures by the Sea exhibition…in his electorate of Cottesloe.

What some of our readers might not know is that the Opposition’s Ben Wyatt had submitted a question on notice asking the Government if any artwork from Sculptures by the Sea 2012 had been purchased.

As an aside for those not familiar with the nuances of Parliament, questions on notice are different to the questions without notice that often provoke those 5 second TV moments of yelling, mass mockery and other generally bad behaviour. Indeed, questions on notice are submitted quietly and give the government of the day around a month to provide an answer. For that reason, questions on notice often seek a level of detail not expected of questions without notice and governments are usually fairly open and generous in their responses.

But it seems, the Barnett Government wasn’t feeling too generous when it decided to play cute to Ben Wyatt’s slightly mis-aligned question. While our tip-off was about Dumas House where most Government Ministers our housed, Mr Wyatt’s question named Hale House – the Premier’s office just across the car park:

"I refer to the refurbishment of Hale House, and ask, in relation to the display of artwork, will any sculptures from
this year’s Cottesloe Sculpture By The Sea event be displayed at Hale House and, if so:
(a) what is the name of the sculpture;
(b) what was the cost of the sculpture;
(c) what is the country or state of origin of the sculpture;
(d) when was the sculpture purchased;
(e) who selected the sculpture;
(f) who purchased the sculpture;
(g) who paid for the sculpture; and
(h) where will the sculpture be displayed?"

To which the Government responded on 12 June 2012:

"No
(a)–(h) Not applicable"

OK, technically the Government response is quite correct, but far from generous because while Mr Wyatt named the wrong building, he was really on to something.

As can be seen in the screenshot from the 2012 Sculptures by the Sea webpage, one of its exhibits was “Migrating Spirits” by renowned Western Australian artist, R. M. (Ron) Gomboc.

[Image on TheGoodOil.org] 

And as the photo below taken yesterday in front of Dumas House proves, it is now owned by the WA Government and part of the Premier’s Parliamentary Precinct.

[Image on TheGoodOil.org]

Unfortunately we don’t know how much the acquisition cost because the Government won’t answer our questions and decided to play cute with Mr Wyatt’s.

And while The Good Oil thoroughly supports public expenditure on the Arts, it’s something governments should be proud to openly justify, not play stupid games that appear to indicate a level of embarrassment about the decision.

At best, not being open and accountable raises suspicions of impropriety and at worst, the inevitable politics such behaviour provokes damages the value of the Arts and ultimately demeans the work of the artist/s in question.

- See more at: http://thegoodoil.org/?p=11283#sthash.F08n8PEu.dpuf

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Now right up front, we’re not having a go at the man himself – Mr Roberts-Smith is a national genuine hero and everyone has to make a living.

BUT, as we highlighted in $1m advertising contract fails: Community not ‘Bushfire ready’ on Wednesday, Fire Commissioner Wayne Gregson all but confirmed the Government’s Are you bushfire ready campaign had failed when earlier in the week he said on talkback radio:

“I’ve spoken to some of the volunteers who are still amazed that householders are leaving things to the last minute – they don’t have a plan, they’re unsure of what to do.”
And now we can reveal that the face of the campaign, war hero Ben Roberts-Smith, was paid $50,000 for his few lines in the ads.

Without making comment about what constitutes a fair rate of pay for celebrity actors these days, it is worth noting that a number of Western Australia’s 28,000 or so volunteer fire fighters are still waiting for critical, life-saving safety equipment such as fire blankets to be installed in their fire trucks.

Spin over substance? Hmmm…

- See more at: http://thegoodoil.org/?p=11289#sthash.ND5m2dx2.dpuf

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