THE cost to the ACT for the unsighted, but already controversial Centenary of Canberra’s gigantic Skywhale hot-air balloon will be $300,000 and not the $170,000 figure Government officials were saying yesterday.
And no matter the cost, it has also emerged that the Territory doesn’t own the commissioned work by internationally renowned artist and former Canberran Patricia Piccinini. The Skywhale belongs to Melbourne-based company Global Ballooning.
The updated figure was revealed in a Public Accounts Committee hearing today under questioning from ACT Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson.
“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,” he said.
“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.”