Skywhale Debacle Continues: ACT Labor Slugs Community Again

The ACT Government’s poor judgement surrounding dealings with the Skywhale has been highlighted following revelations that four Canberra based organisations have had to pay for the balloon’s appearance at their events, Shadow Minister for Arts and Tourism Brendan Smyth said today.

“Having paid for the Skywhale through their hard earned tax dollars, Canberrans and their community groups are now being slugged again to have the Skywhale appear at their functions during the Centenary year,” Mr Smyth said.

“During a Public Accounts Committee hearing today and under questioning from the Canberra Liberals, the government revealed Belconnen Community Arts, Kingston Arts Precinct, Gorman House and the University of Canberra had to pay for the Skywhale to make appearances at their events.

“This follows other recent revelations that the Tuggeranong Community Festival abandoned plans to have the Skywhale appear because costs could have reached $7000 and because the bureaucratic process was too arduous.

“This is Canberra’s balloon, paid for by ACT taxpayers and it makes a mockery of the Centenary year that local groups have had to pay for something that’s already cost the community $300,000. Residents have already paid $33,000 per flight in Canberra, now community groups have to fork out. This is not good enough,” Mr Smyth concluded.