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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 304..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

we are rushing into. This is not a decision that we are about to make. It is not a decision that is required imminently. It is not a decision that we should rush into. We are being sensible, strategic, considered and scientific in our assessment of the options that we believe should be pursued and, of course, we are doing that in concert with all experts in the ACT and the entire ACT community. Indeed, we are seeking advice and expertise from beyond the ACT at the moment. I think that the essential thrust of the question, or the allegation it contains, is not sustainable.

MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. If I have understood correctly what you said, there will be further consultation which will be informed by the analysis; so the community forums that have been held so far have been pretty much initial steps and not particularly meaningful. You are separating the question of dams from the water strategy. I am getting away with a big preamble. My supplementary question is: will you clarify what you were saying about the analysis you are getting done by, I think you said, Ecowise, the CSIRO and Actew? Is it for potential sources? I am interested in knowing whether any work is being done on providing cost-benefit analyses, environmental analyses and social analyses of the whole range of ways of dealing with supply, which does not necessarily include potential sources. It is also about looking at the potential for reducing demand. Are we going to see a full cost-benefit analysis of the potential of that, keeping in mind the impact of enhancing our resources downstream, particularly the Murray?

MR STANHOPE: I think that the short answer is yes. That is very much the approach we have adopted in relation to the development of the water strategy and it is certainly the approach we will adopt in relation to the work that we are doing as a matter of prudence in identifying possible future sources of supply. The water strategy itself is based entirely on the need for us to assess all of those costs in a truly sustainable way and, of course, we are looking at all of those issues. They are the principles of the water strategy and the further work that we are doing in relation to the identification of possible future options is based on those exact principles.

Tourism

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Minister for Business and Tourism, Mr Quinlan. Minister, you would be aware that Qantas has recently begun a direct service between Perth and Canberra, potentially opening up a lucrative new market for Canberra tourism. I am happy about that because it means I will be able to visit my nephew on a regular basis conveniently. Qantas is also offering discounted flights and holiday packages as part of the new service. What are the government and Australian Capital Tourism doing to take advantage of this opportunity?

MR QUINLAN: Like the recent commencement of Virgin Blue flights to and from Adelaide in September, the commencement of a direct service from Perth by Qantas has presented an ideal opportunity to tap into a tourism market that has not already been opened to us in the past.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both airlines on their initiative, which I believe displays a level of confidence in the viability of today's Canberra as a destination for tourism traffic. These new routes also demonstrate the ability of


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