Shadow Minister for Health Rob Lucas says Minister Snelling needs to indicate whether he has kept his promise and stopped the consortium building the NRAH from spending any further money on public art.
On 27 January, Minister Snelling promised to slash the $2 public art programme at the NRAH to free up money for other budget priorities.
Minister Snelling promised to stop further spending on public art such as ‘graphics to illustrate themed areas of the hospital and graphics for elements of the building’s façade’.
However, evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee this week from NRAH Joint Venture Development Director Mr Chris Pratt has raised new questions about what Minister Snelling has done to implement his promise.
When Mr Pratt was asked if the Government had issued a direction to the consortium or ordered a variation to their contract to implement their promise, Mr Pratt refused to answer and said the question should be directed to the Government.
However, Mr Pratt then went on to make it clear:
• that spending on public art was still a part of their brief and ‘this is what we are rolling out’
• stood by his comments to The Australian that there was no $2 million saving that would be made as suggested by the Government
• two major public art projects budgeted for $100,000 were being commissioned
• Kangaroo Island artist Annalise Rees had been commissioned to provide graphics at the NRAH
• planning was continuing for a major “water feature’ at the NRAH
Minister Snelling must now clarify:
• whether he has issued a direction to the consortium or a contract variation to implement his promise
• how much of the $2 million public art budget has been saved and whether any savings were to be spent on ‘other budget priorities’ unrelated to the NRAH