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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3141..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Australian koalas cannot survive at Tidbinbilla we will not bring South Australian koalas here.

But there is an opportunity there in relation to an island with a significant koala population that has grown above and beyond the size of the island to sustain it. There were proposals a year or so ago by South Australian parks authorities to begin a culling program in relation to koalas on Kangaroo Island. If there is a capacity in relation to Kangaroo Island koalas, which have outgrown their home, for us to provide them with an alternative home, then I will do everything I can to ensure that we can extend that possibility to those koalas. That is the process we're following.

Tourism

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism. Can you please advise the Assembly of any recent developments in tourism? In other words, can he tell the Assembly what he did for lunch today?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I am sure I can say "Bula".

Mrs Burke: How does that go?

MR QUINLAN: It's a great word, isn't it? It is one that almost always evokes a response. You just can't help yourself.

Today I welcomed the first regular international flight to Canberra airport. Members are probably aware that the flight originated in Nadi, Fiji. So this is a very important day for Canberra-the first of many more. Canberra airport is now an international airport.

This is an important milestone for Canberra and for the airport, and it reinforces Canberra's status as a gateway and as a national capital. The Fijian national airline, Air Pacific, will fly twice weekly between Canberra and Nadi using very colourful 737 aircraft and will provide an international link to several other foreign ports, including Los Angeles and Vancouver. This is a significant vote of confidence by Air Pacific in Canberra and its future as an international destination.

I am very pleased with this growth in aviation services at the airport and the government will continue to work to develop Canberra as an international destination. I look forward to welcoming many more visitors from around the world to Canberra as a tourist and business destination.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Can the Deputy Chief Minister please advise the Assembly if the government provided support to this venture?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I am very happy to say that the government saw benefits in this new service and has provided considerable sums through Australian Capital Tourism to the marketing of this service. I cannot claim that we are going to spend $8 million to increase air services to and from the ACT but I can say that we have spent $200,000 to build the promotional program around this service. This is a statement of the


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