Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 13 Hansard (31 October) . . Page.. 4116..
meeting I had with the arboretum staff, I asked that that fee be removed. I do not think it makes any sense and I think it is generating negative publicity for the arboretum when it does not need it.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Minister, why did the government change the policy and, more importantly, will people who have paid already be refunded?
MS GALLAGHER: The interesting news on that front is nobody has paid it, which supported my decision to remove it. It was not generating money; it was generating bad publicity. Those charges are in place in other facilities, but, to me, it did not make sense. We said we would review it. I have reviewed it. It is not needed. It has gone.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, how much money did you budget to receive from these fees and now where might that revenue come from?
MS GALLAGHER: We did not have a budget associated with those fees. In fact we honestly did not know how much money. We did not know how many people would hire the village centre, how many people would hire the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion and, with the introduction of pay parking, how much that would generate. My understanding is that, year to date, with the arboretum—and the shop, of course, which TAMS also runs at this point in time, although that will go out to tender at some point in the future—the last figure I saw was that the arboretum has generated revenue in the order of $400-odd thousand since its opening. So it is nowhere near covering its operational budget but there is some revenue generated.
Mr Coe: A point of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mr Coe.
Mr Coe: Madam Speaker, Ms Lawder's specific question was about the revenue expected to be received from the photography fee. To date she has not actually said how much that—
MS GALLAGHER: I did. You were not listening.
MADAM SPEAKER: In fairness to the Chief Minister, I think she said, "We didn't know."
MS GALLAGHER: We did not have a budget for it.
MADAM SPEAKER: Have you finished answering the question?
MS GALLAGHER: Yes.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.