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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 5426..

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson, thank you. Mr Barr is actually answering the question that Mr Smyth asked.

MR BARR: You seem surprised, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Not at all, Mr Barr.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Let us hear the minister in silence.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Members would be aware that Canberra airport and the airlines are closely examining the possibility of direct flights between Canberra and a number of New Zealand cities, and Singapore and Hong Kong are also being considered. So in that context, and in line with Australian Capital Tourism's five-year strategic plan, we will be looking again at international marketing once the airport goes international.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what is your analysis of the forecast that China will contribute almost one-third of all of Australia's tourism export dollars growth in that period to 2020, particularly in providing tourism business for the ACT?

MR BARR: I understand that that research was released yesterday. The Tourism Directions Conference was held here in Canberra, at Parliament House, yesterday. It is clearly the subject of a considered Australia wide response in terms of the national long-term tourism strategy, of which the ACT is a willing participant. However, our marketing budget is limited, Mr Speaker, as I am sure you would understand. China is a massive market. Our capacity to have any market penetration in China with the budget that we have is very limited, so our work would need to be in partnership with Tourism Australia. That is the appropriate way for the ACT to engage in an international market of that size and we will be focusing any future international marketing exercises based on cities and countries that have direct flights into Canberra once the Canberra airport goes international.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. In the context of international tourism particularly, minister, do you believe that it would be the responsibility of places like this Assembly to start talking up the territorial aspects of tourism as opposed to the national aspects of tourism and that, in fact, talking it down will actually work contrary to the interests of the territory?

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Hargreaves asked Mr Barr whether he believed something was the case. I believe that is an expression of opinion and not in accordance with the standing orders.

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