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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 3060..

MS MacDONALD (continuing):

economy. Industry partners included both national attractions, as well as local attractions from all over Canberra. The national archives, the national library, Questacon, Cockington Green Gardens, the National Zoo and Aquarium and King O'Malley's Pub were some of the attractions that participated in Floriade 2005.

In 2005, Floriade achieved $20.5 million direct expenditure in the ACT, an increase of 51 per cent from 2004. The total attendance figure for Floriade was 356,676 people, representing a five per cent increase from 2004. Fifty-three per cent of visitors came from interstate and overseas specifically for Floriade. This represents an increase of 27 per cent from 2005 and equates to a total of 96,000 interstate and international visitors, compared to 75,000 in 2004.

The interstate market represents high value to the local economy, with 62 per cent staying overnight and 38 per cent visiting Floriade on a day trip. Overall, attendees to Floriade were generally satisfied with the event, with 96.5 per cent being very satisfied or somewhat satisfied.

The success of Floriade relies not only on government and industry support, but also on the community volunteers who give their time so generously during the event. Last year, more than 220 community volunteers collectively gave 5,400 hours during the month-long event. Their assistance to visitors was invaluable.

We know that Floriade has become one of Canberra's flagship events. It is an event that is accessible to all in our community and offers something for everyone. I urge everyone in this place to visit Floriade throughout the month. Of course I urge them to take all their family and friends—and interstate relatives and friends, please. We are in the lucky position of being so close to Commonwealth Park here in the Assembly that we can just walk over during the day. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to do in the upcoming weeks.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.01): Floriade is important to Canberra and I thank Ms MacDonald for putting it up for discussion as a matter of public importance. It is interesting that much of what Ms MacDonald just read out was simply a cut and paste job from the quarterly report for October to December 2005, almost with direct quotes. Normally it is the practice when you just read something verbatim in this place to attribute it to where you got it from, lest you should be accused of plagiarism.

The interesting thing about Floriade is the conflict in some of the government's numbers. Indeed, with respect to the report from which Ms MacDonald just read, the numbers that she actually quoted on page 9 of the quarterly report for October to December 2005 say that the total attendance figure for Floriade was 356,676, representing a five per cent increase on 2004. According to the budget papers, the visitation to Floriade for 2005-06 was only 132,000. I refer to budget paper 4 at page 312. That was the target. Indeed, the attendance was actually by 158,984 individuals. So there is some conflict there in the data before us.

Maybe the minister will jump up and tell us which of these figures is actually correct, because the target he has set himself for this year is, in fact, for only 132,000 visitors to Floriade, which was the target for last year and which is significantly less than what was achieved. We discussed some of that in the estimates process. I am just curious as to why

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