Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 384..
MR BARR (continuing):
news for the ACT economy. It is news endorsed by none other than the federal tourism Minister Fran Bailey, who said on the AM program on ABC radio yesterday morning:
The real issue is how much we earn out of an industry. You've really got to look at the amount that is being spent. The Tourism industry is like every other industry, it's the bottom line and what you're earning, so that sectors of the industry can reinvest and create more jobs.
That was Fran Bailey, federal tourism minister, on the AM program on ABC radio yesterday morning. Given the challenging nature of the international tourism market, the ACT has performed well in maintaining its market share in an environment where the number of visitors to Australia has remained relatively static. There was a small decrease in raw visitor numbers to the ACT largely as a result of a decline in Chinese visitors to Australia on packaged tours.
So the come-in-for-a-day-and-leave visitors—the ones that come in, visit the free attractions and bring their own lunch—are very low-yield visitors, as the tourism industry is wont to repeat to me on many occasions. There has been a decline in that proportion of the market but it is particularly pleasing to see a return on our investment into South-East Asia, the 16 per cent increase in international backpacker visitation and the increased length in stay. The total expenditure increased to $225 million, Mr Smyth.
Mr Smyth: So why did you cut the budget?
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I warn you.
MR BARR: You sit there up the back looking for one bit of bad news in the entire situation, which is a massive increase in expenditure in the ACT economy, going against what you predicted. You were out there talking doom and gloom and you have been doing that the entire time that you have been shadow minister.
MR SPEAKER: Direct your comments through the chair, Mr Barr and Mr Smyth.
MR BARR: The shadow minister has been talking down the ACT tourism industry ever since he has been in that portfolio. When Mr Mulcahy stepped in as acting leader of the opposition and spoke to the Tourism Industry Council he talked them down as well. These results show that the industry is booming—a 28 per cent increase in expenditure in the ACT economy—a fantastic result. The industry deserves congratulations.
Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Mr Corbell presented the following papers:
Administration of Justice—ACT Criminal Justice—Statistical Profile—December quarter 2006.