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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3686

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for the Capital Territory, upon notice:

(   1 ) What was (a) the cost of each presentation by the Canberra Theatre Trust, either alone or in association with others and (b) the gross ticket revenue in respect of each of those presentations during the last 3 years.

(2)   Did the Canberra Theatre Trust give away 600 free tickets to the opening of Mr Max Wall's show during the 1976 Canberra Week, and does the Canberra Theatre only seat 1200 people.

(3)   Are any officers of his Department on the board or committee of any organisations in receipt of funds from the Department for cultural activities, such as music, opera and drama.

(4)   If so, what are the names of these officers.

(5)   Are any of these officers involved in the allocations of these funds.

(6)   If so, is it considered that any conflict of interest could arise in these circumstances, and are any steps being taken to avert any such conflict of interest.

(7)   How many free tickets have been given away by the Canberra Theatre Trust for each of its presentations, alone or in association with others, during the last 5 years.

(8)   What are the names of the recipients of these free tickets, and upon what criteria are they selected.

Mr Staley - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:


(a)   The costs of each presentation by the Canberra Theatre Trust over the last5 years are set out in the attached schedule.

(b)   The gross ticket revenues in respect of each presentation over the last 3 years are set out in the attached schedule.

(2   ) Yes to both questions.

(3)   Yes.

(4)   Mr L.W. Engledow (Canberra Theatre Trust), Mr T. Z. Whitgob (Canberra Theatre Trust and Canberra Opera Society), Mr D. Walsh (Canberra Children's Theatre Inc. and the Arts Council (ACT Division)).

(   5 ) Yes, but subject to the involvement of others also.

(6)   It is not considered that conflict of interest arises. The procedures followed within the Commonwealth Public Service prevent this.

(7)   The number of tickets given away by the Canberra Theatre Trust over the last five years are shown in the attached schedule.

(8)   It is not possible to provide the names of recipients of tickets. The categories of recipients comprise:

Press and radio reviewers and media representatives, both local and interstate.

Representatives of other theatrical and concert managements, local, interstate and overseas.

VIP's, including Government representatives and overseas visitors.

Representatives of an Embassy with which an attraction is specifically connected. For example, for the Ensemble Nipponia the Japanese Ambassador is invited; for the Royal Shakespeare Company the British High Commissioner is invited.

Recipients contractually stipulated up to a certain number by a partnership management.

In addition tickets which it is known would otherwise remain unused are sometimes offered to persons from the following groups:

Senior citizens, incapacitated persons, convalescents, brought specially to the theatre.

Personnel of hospitals and the Armed Forces.

Media Staff.

Persons connected with or who have been of particular assistance in some aspect of the operations of the Theatre Centre (i.e. normal business practice).

Members of visiting theatrical companies and managements.

Children at special performances.

The total number of tickets given away over the last 3 years was 10 014 or 6.87 per cent of the aggregate attendances of 145 559.




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