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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 6 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2225..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

The problem for us, though, is that it does make life difficult. I would still put it to the minister that the pool site is the best site for it. Everything I have learnt in the last couple of years since we announced our option in February 2006 leads me to be more and more convinced that the best place for the new convention centre for the ACT is, indeed, on Constitution Avenue.

Tourism is a very important industry for the ACT, and we certainly need to make sure that we have adequate funding so that we can respond to things like the downturn that is occurring, where money is tightening for people, where the cost of fuel is making it more difficult to travel, where new taxes from the federal government are making it more difficult for people to get here. Australia may well, from all the surveys, be at the top of people's aspiration list of places they would love to go to but, in terms of when they actually come and how they get here, it is often at the bottom of that list.

It is about 12.30 and I am about to have to stop. I will take this up after the break, but I do need to bring to the attention of Mr Gentleman, who spoke earlier about the report and how outrageous it seemed to be that committee members and other members asked almost 4,000 questions of the government over the budget—almost 4,000 questions, how outrageous; members doing their job—in a $3.3 billion budget, if you divide that by 4,000 questions, it is about one question for every $825,000. I do not know what the go with that is.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts): For the information of members, I wish to advise that the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Mr Hargreaves, is not available to participate in question time today. I regret that, as does he. I stand ready to render what assistance I am able to in relation to any questions that may have been directed to Mr Hargreaves.

Questions without notice

Children—protection

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, yesterday in question time you gave a brief update to the Assembly on the issues surrounding the family in Ainslie. Given the reports we have seen in the national and local media, is there any further information you can give the Assembly?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not believe so. I am constrained a little around the privacy and confidentiality requirements of the Children and Young People Act. Also, the matter is currently before the court. I do not believe there is anything further I can say


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