Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1648..
Mr Corbell: Point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Point of order?
MR Corbell: I said no such thing, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.
MR SMYTH: No, I said Mr Barr. I did not say Mr Corbell.
MR Corbell: No, you said Mr Corbell.
MR SMYTH: Mr Corbell, I do apologise. I was referring to Mr Barr. If Mr Barr looks at his figures in the year to the end of March 2006 we actually had 46,950 visitors. In the year to March 2007 we only had 45,500. Minus 1,450, in my mind, is a reduction and those are just the quarter figures. If you do the full year figures, in the year to March 2006 there were 159,000 visitors. In the year to March 2007, there were only 153,000 visitors according to the minister's website. The website cites Australian Capital Tourism and Tourism Research Australia.
There is a deficit of 6,000 visitors. I am not sure where the minister gets his numbers from. He has done this before. He gets a little briefing; he comes in here and he states figures without tabling documents. He puts numbers into the Assembly that he cannot back up. It is quite clear that when he started crying about the latest international visitors in Australia surveyed for the 12 months to March 2004 and 2007, he got that bit right but after that he forgot to mention a few things. What is the overall state of international visitors to the ACT? During the March quarter 2007 there were 45,500 international visitors to the ACT, a reduction of 1,450. For the 12 months there were 153,000, a reduction of 6,100 or nearly four per cent.
I think that when the minister stops cutting things, he needs to look at what he says and he has got to concentrate on delivering the data. He has got to stop coming into this place and just rattling off figures which people cannot respond to. We go away and check everything he says now because his reputation of Andrew Scissorhands—of just cutting things—is well and truly cemented in the population.
He often omits to mention, for instance, when he says that the tourist aggregates for Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand provide an 8.4 per cent increase. On the face of it that sounds fantastic but what he did not tell us was what that growth was, what the numbers actually are. The raw numbers from that area are still quite small. Effectively there has been virtually no growth from these countries in almost two years.
The minister is being mischievous in his selective use of tourism data. I am ready to correct him every time he tries to distort the correct position. We will check both the TRA and the ACT tourism websites because the numbers are eventually published. It does take the minister some time, but the numbers are eventually published. We will be checking and keeping watch on him. The figures have gone down. They have not gone up. This is a consequence of his cuts. His reputation of Andrew Scissorhands is